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Miami vs. Boston NBA Free Pick (Feb. 3)

Wednesday, FEBRUARUY 3, 2010 – Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics

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NBA odds: Celtics trying to extend dominance over Heat

NBA betting fans have 11 matchups to choose from tonight, but none will be bigger than Miami at Boston. The Celtics are supposed to be championship contenders but have stumbled in 2010. The Heat, meanwhile, are a one-man band with Dwyane Wade—and with Wade ailing, Miami is a serious underdog.

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Team records:
Miami: 24-24 SU, 23-24-1 ATS
Boston: 30-16 SU, 19-26-1 ATS

Matchup: Heat vs. Celtics
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Venue: TD Garden
Spread:
Over/Under:

The Celtics are one of several championship contenders who have struggled in the New Year. Boston (30-16, 19-26-1 ATS) beat Washington Monday to snap a three-game losing streak. The Celtics have won just three times in their last nine games while going a brutal 2-6-1 against the spread. The Celtics have been even worse at home lately, going 0-4-1 ATS in their last five games in Boston.

Kevin Garnett’s recent return from injury was supposed to reinvigorate Boston, but it hasn’t happened. The veteran forward is averaging just 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds in the six games since he got back on the floor. Boston’s top-rated defense has held its ground but the offense has failed to hit 100 points in nine straight games. Ray Allen has struggled big time; he’s failed to crack double-digits in scoring in five of his last nine games, and that simply won’t do from one of the “Big Three.”

The Heat aren’t playing any better. Miami (24-24, 23-24-1 ATS) has lost four of its last five games straight up and went 1-3-1 against the spread in that span. The Heat have played poorly on the road, going 2-4 on NBA odds in their last six games away from home.

Like Boston, Miami is finding great difficulty putting points on the board; during the five-game slump the Heat are averaging a paltry 90.2 points per game—six points below the season average and, worse yet, that total would rank second-last in the league over the course of a season. Star guard Dwyane Wade is showing signs of slowing down. His back is ailing the Heat’s leading scorer (27.0 PPG) shot just 13/39 over his last two outings. Without Wade carrying the team, Miami is sunk.

Boston has dominated Miami in recent seasons. The Celtics are 9-1 straight up and 7-3 against the spread vs. the Heat in their last 10 meetings. They last met in early January, with Boston winning (and covering) 112-106.

THE PICK

Neither team is playing inspiring basketball but, with D-Wade noticeably declining, Boston has a big edge. Even with a grinding offense slowing them down, the Celtics can play some tough “D” and bang out a victory.

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