Heat look for season-high fifth straight win against spluttering Rockets
Daniel Coyle, American Sports Correspondent | February 2, 2016
Miami Heat @ Houston Rockets
The Miami Heat will try to extend their longest straight up winning streak of the season to five games when they visit the Houston Rockets on Tuesday as 4.5-point underdogs in NBA betting with Coral.
It has been a timely turnaround for Miami, who had lost eight of their previous 10, a dismal run that pushed them to the edge of the play-off picture in the NBA’s Eastern Conference standings.
The Heat have had to endure a tough schedule in the early days of 2016, playing 11 of their past 13 on the road, and have three straight away dates coming up, starting with Tuesday night’s match-up at Toyota Center in Houston.
Miami struggled at Coral during their recent swoon, failing to cover in seven of 10, but are undefeated against the spread in their past four, lifting them to 24-23-1 ATS on the season.
Rockets on worrying slide
The Rockets will be looking to break out of a three-game slide that has dropped them to a worrisome 25-25 on the season, just 1.5 games ahead of Portland and Utah, who sit deadlocked in eighth place in the Western Conference.
Houston are coming off a 123-122 loss to the Washington Wizards at home on Friday night, continuing a stretch of inconsistency on their home hardwood, which has seen them go a middling 5-5 SU in their past 10 at home, 4-6 ATS.
The club has also been a bookies disappointment, with a 4-7 ATS record in their past 11 as betting chalk, and a dismal 3-9 SU in their past 12 against Miami.
Following their date with the Heat, the Rockets could find a tonic for their recent woes when they visit the feeble Phoenix Suns on Thursday night, while Miami travel to Dallas to face the Mavericks on Wednesday before heading back east for a visit to Charlotte on Friday night.
Toronto Raptors (-9.5) @ Phoenix Suns
The Suns will be searching for just their fourth SU win in 25 games on Tuesday when they play host to the Toronto Raptors as 9.5-point underdogs in American basketball betting at Coral.
Earl Watson will be making his debut as Phoenix bench boss on Tuesday after the club fired former coach Jeff Hornacek, who had been unable to find ways for his team to win since mid-November.
Phoenix are returning home following a four-game road swing in which they were outscored by an average margin of 15.75 points in four SU and ATS losses, dropping them to 2-9 ATS in their past 11.
The Raptors are coming off one of the worst performances of the season in 112-93 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Monday night, ending a franchise-record 11-game SU win streak.
Toronto have also failed to cover in each of their past three after going 8-1 ATS in their previous nine, and have just two SU wins in their past 11 visits to the desert.
The Dinos continue their six-game western odyssey with a visit to Portland on Thursday before travelling to Detroit to battle the Pistons on Monday, while the Suns follow up their dates with Toronto and Houston with a visit from Utah on Saturday.
Celtics, Blazers, T-Wolves favoured on Tuesday night
In other NBA betting action at Coral on Tuesday night, the Boston Celtics look to bounce back from a 119-114 loss to Orlando on the weekend that ended a five-game SU win streak, when they visit the New York Knicks as 3.5-point favourites.
The Trail Blazers host the Milwaukee Bucks as 7.5-point favourites, while the Minnesota Timberwolves aim for a third straight win over Los Angeles on Tuesday, when they battle the Lakers as 4.5-point road favourites.