Heat favoured to continue winning streak over Sixers
Daniel Coyle, American Sports Correspondent | March 4, 2016
Miami Heat (-9.5) @ Philadelphia 76ers
Miami Heat will be looking to make it four in a row on Friday when they visit last-place Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night as 9.5-point favorites in NBA betting at Coral.
The Heat have won three straight, both straight up and against the spread, contributing to a 12-5 SU run that has solidified their hold on fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings, just 1.5 games back from Boston Celtics.
Miami’s current tear has been fueled by solid play on the road, with the club taking a 7-2 SU mark over their past nine road dates into Friday night’s Heat vs. Sixers matchup at Wells Fargo Center, including four outright wins as betting underdogs.
It’s been a busy week for the Heat, who play their fifth game in seven nights on Friday, following a 108-92 home victory over Phoenix on Thursday, and a 98-81 win over the Knicks in New York on Tuesday.
But a hectic schedule has not diminished Miami’s success, as they are an impressive 7-1 ATS over their past eight, despite the absence of power forward Chris Bosh, who remains sidelined with yet another blood clot scare.
The 76ers have offered no surprises during their current 10-game SU losing streak. Philadelphia have been consistent losers, dropping six of seven ATS, following a promising 11-4 run, and have gone down to defeat by an average margin of 12.3 points during their current slide.
Miami have also held the upper-hand in recent meetings with the Sixers, posting SU wins in their past three, including 96-91 win in South Beach earlier this season, but Philadelphia are not without merit, going 6-4-1 ATS in their past 11 dates with the Heat.
Indiana Pacers @ Charlotte Hornets (-3.5)
Charlotte Hornets will try to keep pace with the Heat when they host Indiana Pacers on Friday as 3.5-point chalk.
With 13 SU wins in their past 18, the Hornets have established themselves as legitimate playoff contenders, rising to sixth place in the East with a respectable 32-28 record.
The Hornets’ ascension has been largely built on an impressive 8-4 SU run on the road, but the club is also an impressive 6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS, in their past seven home dates, cracking the century mark in four of their past five home dates.
Indiana travel to Charlotte for the final stop on a three-game road trip following a 104-99 win in Milwaukee as 3-point underdogs on Wednesday, but are just 2-4 SU and ATS in their past six, ending a 7-3 SU run and leaving them just 1.5 games up on ninth-place Washington.
The Pacers dropped a heartbreaking 96-95 home decision to the Hornets last week, marking their second loss to Charlotte during the month of February, and their third in their past five meetings, and are a dismal 1-6-1 ATS in their past eight against their Eastern rivals.
Washington Wizards @ Cleveland Cavaliers (-8.5)
In other NBA betting action, the Wizards will be looking to reclaim a share of eighth place in the East when they visit leaders Cleveland Cavaliers as 8.5-point underdogs.
Washington have bounced back from a 4-9 SU stretch that bounced them from the playoff picture, claiming SU victory in each of their past four, and seven of nine.
The Wizards have also enjoyed success against Cleveland this season, winning two of three previous meetings, including a 97-85 victory at Quicken Loans Arena in December, and a decisive 113-99 home victory last week that extended their ATS win streak over the Cavs to four games.
The Cavaliers have benefited from a three-day break since topping Indiana on Monday by a 100-96 score, but have struggled with just two wins in their past five outings, losing ground to second-place Toronto Raptors, who now trail by only two games in the Eastern standings.
Portland Trail Blazers @ Toronto Raptors (-6.5)
Toronto will try to extend their franchise-record setting home winning streak to 12 games on Friday when they host the surging Portland Trail Blazers as 6.5-point chalk.
The Dinos are a respectable 8-3 ATS during their current home run, but face a red-hot Rip City squad that is 14-3 SU in their past 17, and an impressive 12-2 SU in their past 14 against the Raptors.
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