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Heat vs. Suns Free NBA Pick

NBA Friday Basketball Betting – Miami Heat at Phoenix Suns

The Miami Heat (7-8 SU, 6-8-1 ATS) faces off against a familiar foe when they travel to the Valley of the Sun on Friday night, as Eric Spoelstra’s team faces off against the Phoenix Suns (11-5 SU, 8-8 ATS) in NBA pro basketball sports betting action that is scheduled to tip off at 8 PM ET at the US Airways Center in Phoenix.

BetUS NBA Basketball Sports Betting Odds: PHOENIX -8.5, Total 200

Here are some of the NBA pro basketball sports betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* MIA has lost four of its last six games SU
* MIA has lost 14 of its last 16 road games SU
* PHX has won five of its last seven games SU
* PHX has won 14 of its last 19 home games SU
* PHX has played four of its last five home games UNDER the total

Also…

* PHX has won five of the last six meetings SU
* MIA has covered nine of the last 13 meetings
* Four of the last six meetings have gone UNDER the total
* PHX has had the shooting edge in four of the last six meetings
* MIA has had the rebounding edge in six of the last seven meetings
* PHX has made more three-pointers in each of the last nine meetings

The Heat has just been through an embarrassment – a 106-68 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in which they shot just 34.5% from the field and were out-rebounded by a 55-28 margin. This was their third loss in the last four games, and without Shawn Marion (who was attending a funeral), some think this is where the relative inexperience of this team – with two rookies in the starting lineup – is starting to show.

By contrast, the Suns have won three straight games, shooting at least 53% in each of those games. On Wednesday it was a 110-102 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, as Steve Nash had 20 points and Shaquille O’Neal added 18. But what was interesting is that Al Jefferson was almost an irresistible force for the Wolves, scoring 28 points with 17 rebounds. It is apparent that Amare Stoudamire is someone who is lacking on the defensive end.

O’Neal has been pretty good for the Suns, averaging more than 15 points a game, shooting 59% from the field, and also has put together his best free throw percentage in six years (55.6%). But the fact is that Shaq is not really a major force on defense anymore, and has a problem getting up and down the court, hence the move by Phoenix to go with a little slower tempo.

I think Miami will respond; not just after such a horrible effort on Wednesday, but also in response to some of the disparaging things Shaq has said about the organization since his departure midway through last season. Marion will be back and he will undoubtedly want to make an impact against his former team. So will Marcus Banks, the backup point guard, who finally got some playing time the other night. Let’s take the points with Miami, the 8.5-point underdog in the BetUS NBA pro basketball sports betting odds.

Our PLAY: MIAMI +8.5 **

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