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Grizzlies vs. Heat Pick NBA – Dec 27th

Yesterday was one of the downsides of trying to get picks out nice and early – sometimes there is a major scratch that dramatically alters the line as well as tenor of the game. Such was the case with my Kings pick yesterday. At the time of writing, the line was +1.5 or +2 in the Kings favor. By the time they scratched DeMarcus Cousins late in the afternoon the line blew up to 5.5 or even 6, and even that wasn’t enough for the deflated Kings to derail the scorching Suns. Hopefully you got to that pick AFTER Boogie had been scratched so you didn’t take a tough loss along with me…

Today we will head for safer pastures and with a ton of good NBA matchups to choose from there are a cople of real nice plays on the board. Before we get to them, let me be the first to throw out one cautionary stat to dampen the Josh Smith party in Houston. Yes, the new acquisition looked awesome leading the team with 21 points and 4 offensive rebounds. He also led the team with 21 shots. Perhaps it was new-team exuberance, but don’t think he can get more than 12-15 shots a night long term without it really bristling Dwight Howard and James Harden. Just saying, it won’t be the first “Josh Smith and Team Chemistry” story you’ve ever read…

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Let’s dive in to today’s free pick…

Today’s Free Pick:

Memphis Grizzlies -3 at Miami Heat

I’ve fared pretty well backing the Grizzlies this season. They’ve been a great team straight-up but an average ATS team 14-15. I’ve just caught them on favorable matchups. I don’t think tonight is one of those favorable matchups. They are heading on the road less than 24 hours after a tough overtime loss to Houston and backend of road back to backs are almost always recipes for trouble in the NBA.

Miami looked to have found something on Christmas Day. And yes, a lot of extra energy came from the crowd buzz and media hype over the return of King James, but the play of Luol Deng and Dwyane Wade who both looked healthy could help this team be the #4/#5 caliber team many 9including me) envisioned before the season.

The absence of Chris Bosh is not a good thing when facing one of the best frontcourts in the NBA, though he has been upgraded to “questionable” for whatever that is worth. My pick is predicated on him not playing. If he IS cleared to play, expect the line to move a bit more in Miami’s favor.

I’m banking solely on the fatigue factor of a road game after a brutal overtime loss being enough for the heat to steal a win. It’s a small sample size, but the Grizz are 0-2 on no rest against a rested team. I think tonight makes it 0 for 3.

Free Pick: Miami Heat +3