Miami Heat vs. Washington Wizards Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Miami Heat (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) vs. Washington Wizards (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS), 7:00 p.m. EST, Wednesday, November 4, 2009, Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. TV: ESPN
by Ryno of Predictem.com

Point Spread: Heat +3/Wizards -3
Over/Under: 193.5

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The Miami Heat and Washington Wizards both had tough losses on Tuesday. Both teams must quickly get over the loss, hop on a flight, and get ready to face each other in an Eastern Conference Southeast Division battle.

The Heat lost at home to the Suns on Tuesday, 104-96. As usual, Dwyane Wade did his thing with 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. But he didn’t get much help. Quentin Richardson had a nice game with 18 points and 10 rebounds. But no other Heat player had more than 14 points. Wade and backcourt mate Mario Chalmers couldn’t slow down Steve Nash, who went for 30 points and eight assists.

The Wizards fell in Cleveland to LeBron James and the Cavaliers, 102-90. Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler both scored 22 points on 7-for-18 shooting, but Mike Miller, who had 12 points, was the only other Wizard in double figures. LeBron had 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Shaquille O’Neal had 21 points and eight rebounds.

All four of the Wizards games this season have ended with double-digit margins. They won by 11 over the Mavericks and 19 over the Nets, and they lost by 11 to the Hawks and 12 to the Cavs. The Heat started 3-0 with wins over the Knicks, Bulls and Pacers before falling to the Suns.

Wade is leading the Heat with 26.5 points per game. He is the heart and soul of the team. Wade has the ball in his hands most of the time and he can do it all. Jermaine O’Neal, Michael Beasley and Udonis Haslem are three solid big men for the Heat. Beasley and Haslem can step out and shoot long jumpers as well as banging down low. Haslem leads the team with over 10 rebounds per game.

Arenas is finally healthy and back to doing what he does best - leading the Wizards in scoring, with 26.5 points per game. The biggest surprise for Washington has been Andray Blatche, who has been incredibly effective down low with 18.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Almost as surprising, newly acquired Mike Miller is leading the team in rebounding with 9.3 per game. Randy Foye, who is also a new Wizard this season, is coming off the bench and scoring 13 points per game. The good news for the Wizards is that everyone is stepping up so far.

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The Heat are 3-1 ATS this season and three of their four games have gone under. Three of the Wizards’ four games have also gone under. These two teams met four times last season and the Heat won all four of them by an average of 15.7 points per game. Keep in mind that Arenas missed all of those games. In 2007-08, when Arenas missed almost the whole season, the Wizards won all four games. The last time Arenas was healthy, in 2006-07, the Heat won three of the four games.

The matchup to watch will be Arenas vs. Wade. These two will likely guard each other all night and whichever player scores more probably will win the game. Both teams have some solid role players, but the Wizards role players have especially been stepping up thus far. Caron Butler hasn’t been too impressive, besides his 22-point effort on Tuesday, and Antawn Jamison is out for a few weeks with a shoulder injury. But Blatche, Foye and Miller have all been impressive. The Heat will need a second scorer like Beasley or Daequan Cook to step up for them to pull off the road win.

Ryno’s Pick: Wade and Arenas are both averaging 26.5 points per game, so that matchup is a wash. Both teams played on Tuesday in different cities and have to fly to Washington with no rest, so that is a wash. But the Wizards are at home and have the better role players so far this season. Blatche and Haywood will be able to contain O’Neal, Haslem and Beasley. But the Wizards have the advantage on the wings with Miller, Foye and Butler. Those three veterans will be the difference. Take the Wizards -3.