Streaking heat favoured in midweek matchup with T-Wolves
Daniel Coyle, American Sports Correspondent | November 17, 2015
The Miami Heat took a major step back last season, going from championship betting favourite to also-ran overnight following the departure of LeBron James, who left town to rejoin the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Following a number of important personnel moves, the Heat appear to be returning to contention this season, taking an early 6-3 record and three-game straight up win streak into their meeting with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, in which they are pegged as 8.5-point home favourites in NBA betting with Coral.
Miami returns to action for the second half of their current six-game homestand following a four-day rest. The club has been rock solid at home, winning five of six to date on home court, including a 92-91 victory over the Utah Jazz last Thursday night.
Such low-scoring affairs have become commonplace for the Heat in the early going, with the club leading the NBA in team defence, holding opponents to just 90.2 points per game, while forcing the point total under in each of their last eight.
The wonder that is Whiteside
Leading the defensive charge for Miami is big man Hassan Whiteside. The 7-foot centre, who signed as a free agent with the Heat midway through last season, has been a revelation during the first month of the new campaign, averaging a league-leading 4.0 blocks per game, while also ranking in the top five in rebounds and field goal percentage.
While the Heat have consistently stymied opposing offences, they have yet to light up the scoreboard themselves, averaging a 24th ranked 96.6 ppg, topping that number just once in their last five.
The youthful Timberwolves have shown flashes of their enormous potential in the first three weeks of the season. Led by last year’s top rookie Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota has cracked the century mark in seven of their first 10 outings, moving them to sixth in the NBA with 103.1 ppg.
They have failed to put it together defensively, however, surrendering over 113 ppg during their current four-game SU losing streak, dropping them to 4-6 in the standings. Minnesota has also produced mixed results for loyal sports punters, going 5-5 ATS, including a 96-84 home loss to the Heat as 4-point underdogs earlier this month, but are 2-2 SU in their last four against Miami, 1-3 ATS.
While the Timberwolves travel to Orlando to battle the Magic on Wednesday, the Heat will prepare to host the surging Sacramento Kings on Thursday before a Saturday visit from the lowly Philadelphia 76ers, who remained winless following a 92-86 home loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, but have posted a pair of back-to-back ATS wins.
In other NBA betting action at Coral, the undefeated Golden State Warriors will vie for a 12th straight win on Tuesday when they host the Toronto Raptors as 8.5-point favourites.
GSW has continued to dominate opponents, posting wins by double-digit margins in each of their last four, but are just 2-4 ATS in their last six while favoured by more than seven points.
The Raptors inconsistency continued in their 107-101 loss to the Kings on Sunday, dropping them to 2-4 SU and ATS in their last six, and have failed to post an SU or ATS road win over the Warriors in their last 10, dating back to 2004.
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Coral’s top tip:Back the impressive Minnesota to win with a +8.5 spread