Miami Heat vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Miami Heat (24-25, 24-25 ATS) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (39-11, 26-23 ATS), Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Thursday, Feb. 4th, 8 PM Eastern, TNT
By Z-Man of

Point Spread: Cavs -9.5/Heat +9.5
Over/under: 187.5

The best team in the NBA so far this season looks to continue in that capacity when the Cleveland Cavaliers host the struggling Miami Heat Thursday night at The Q in Cleveland.

As of early Thursday morning most online
sportsbooks were holding off on lining this game, because of the injury
situations surrounding a couple of players on both sides.

Miami suffered a tough 107-102 loss at Boston Wednesday night, its fifth defeat in the last six games, and is now under .500 for the first time this season. So going into Thursday’s game the Heat sits in fourth place in the Southeast Division, nine games behind the first-place Orlando Magic. And Miami is still tied with the Chicago Bulls for the seven spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

Cleveland has won nine games in a row after beating Memphis 105-89 Tuesday night. So the Cavs’ lead in the Central Division now stands at 14 games over second-place Chicago. Also, Cleveland is 5 games up on Orlando in the race for the best record in the East, and they lead the Los Angeles Lakers by a game in the battle for the best record in the league.

On the season Miami ranks 25th in the league in scoring at 97 PPG, 18th in team FG shooting at 46%, 20th in 3-point shooting at 34% and 18th in FT shooting at 75%. At the other end of the court the Heat rank ninth in both scoring defense at 97 PPG and FG defense at 45%, and 16th in rebounding at +.1 per game.

Cleveland ranks 12th in the league in scoring at 101 PPG, fourth in FG shooting at 48.5%, second in 3-point shooting at 40.5%, 27th in shooting from the line at 73%, second in scoring defense at 94 PPG and first in both FG defense at 43% and in rebounding at +4.5 per game.

The Cavs have already beaten the Heat twice this season, by scores of 111-104 and 92-91. Cleveland shot 47% from the field in those two games together, while Miami shot 45%. And the Heat actually outrebounded the Cavs in both those games. But Cleveland covered the spread both times, as one-point road favorites both times.

That first game went over its posted total of 180, but the second game stayed under its total of 190.

Last season the Cavaliers took three of four games from the Heat. Each team covered the spread twice, and the totals split 2-2.

Miami is 1113 straight up and 13-11 vs. the pointspreads on the road this season.

Cleveland is 20-3 SU but only 10-13 ATS at home this season.

The totals are 22-27 in Miami games this season, which are averaging 193.5 points, and 22-26 in Cleveland games, which are averaging 195 points.

Sagarin’s PREDICTOR ratings at rate the Cavs at +6.2 over the Heat. Toss in Sagarin’s updated NBA home-court advantage figure of 3.6, and Cleveland is a 10-point favorite over Miami for Thursday night’s game.

Z-Man’s Pick: I like the Cavs to roll over the Heat. Miami has had some really weak showings on the road this season and this is NOT a good matchup for them tonight.