Heat vs. Warriors Pick NBA – January 11th

We’ve all been there. You have the favorite, you are laying six or seven and it is a two point lead with eight seconds to go. So, of course, you are rooting frantically against the team you selected, hoping to push the game to overtime and a fresh five minutes to get a chance at your payday and a solid cover. It’s kind of fun. It’s like finding an off ramp on the highway and speeding around a huge traffic jam; you know you don’t deserve to be riding free and unencumbered, but it’s exciting to get one over and get a free pass.

It’s not so fun when you are on the other side. We had the Pacers and points last night, only to come up a basket short in overtime against the Rockets. We had the game handicapped correctly, but still took the loss. Such are the breaks from time to time, but those are always some of my least-favorite beats on the season.

Alas, undeterred we get back to the grind tonight with just three games to choose from, all with large spreads and all very watchable games (you know, if you aren’t watching the National Championship Game instead).

Here’s my favorite play on the board.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Miami Heat at Golden State -13.5 (Total: 206)

The Warriors are unbeatable at home. They haven’t lost in The Roaricle all season long and are looking to tack a perfect home record onto the many records this team seems destined to establish. So do the Heat have a chance tonight?   Vegas doesn’t think so. They are a staggering 13.5 point underdog, likely the largest point spread in a game where Wade and Bosh were healthy in their entire careers. It feels like a ton, but is it too much?

Miami hasn’t lost back to back games all season. Of course, their schedule never looked like it does right now; their next three games are at Golden State, Clippers and Oklahoma City. Yikes. But first things first. They enter Golden State having lost their last game 98-83 in Utah on Saturday night on one of Dwyane Wade’s worst shooting performance of the season (3 of 17). I expect him to bounce back and play well tonight. Miami doesn’t have the depth of Golden State, but they do have one of the few lineups in the NBA that compares favorably one through five. They are also a defensive stalwart. Hassan Whiteside is the best rim protector in the NBA (I’ll list for Rudy Gobert arguments, but his sample size is a little too small for me) and they defend well on the perimeter thanks to the injusion of Justice Winslow.

Not that they are shutting down the multi-headed venomous snake of the Warriors offense. But they should be at least able to give Draymond Green some good defensive looks to slow his devastating play making from the foul line area down.

I’m not picking Golden State to lose. As long as they stay healthy, WHY would you pick them to lose ever? Maybe at San Antonio? Maybe? But tonight, 14 points is a TON in an NBA game against a Top Seven type team. Miami is really good at their peak, and I think they bring their best effort tonight in Golden State. I’ll take them with the dozen-plus points.

Free Pick: Miami Heat +13.5