Heat vs. Nets Pick NBA – January 26th

So much for the slight malaise for the defending Champs. The Warriors sent a resounding message last night that the title, and the daunting road to it, still resides in the Bay Area. Granted, the game was at home, and Timmy Duncan was out, but the absolute demolition was resounding – and it really makes the question of 73 wins feel more and more realistic.

I whiffed on that one. The Warriors were 2-5 ATS in their last seven games and the Spurs have straight-up owned them the last two seasons and have won 13 of their last 16 meetings. But three quarters in, Steph Curry had already happened, dropping 37 points. I liked the healthy handful of points. It turned out, no amount of points was saving that game, and so my four game ATS win streak fades into the night. Let’s see if we can start one anew tonight with a healthy handful of NBA games to choose from.

The schedule is highlighted by the Clippers in Indiana and the Thunder in Madison Square Garden, but my favorite play is one less glamorous.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Miami Heat -4.5 at Brooklyn Nets

This has trap game/tired legs written all over it for the Miami Heat. They are fresh off last night’s 89-84 win at Chicago (who of course lays an egg after beating the Cavaliers on national television over the weekend – such is the chaotic hazard of playing the Chicago Bulls guessing game). Tonight they head over to the Barclays Center to play a less-talented Brooklyn team, but one that has given some tough teams trouble this season. Making matters more challenging for Miami is that they will have to contend with Brook Lopez without Hassan Whiteside patrolling the paint.

Miami has a lot of cagey veterans and a lot of nagging injuries. Dragic is also out, and it feels reasonable to expect a less than great game from Dwyane Wade on the back end of a road back to back.

Neither team has been great against the spread lately; Brooklyn is 1-5 ATS in their last six games, Miami is 1-4-1, so no inherent advantage there, but anytime I can get healthy points with a rested home underdog hosting a team on the backend of a road back-to-back, there is interesting value.

This could be a pretty unpleasant game to watch, but I am in on the value of Brooklyn getting four and a half.

Free Pick: Brooklyn Nets +4.5