NBA Free Pick | Heat at Trail Blazers
The NBA week closes out on Sunday night with Miami starting a four-game road trip with a visit to Portland. The Heat would like to return the favor on the Trail Blazers.
Portland traveled to Miami on March 25 and beat the Heat 125-122 as a 2.5-point favorite. The Trail Blazers have won five of their last seven and Miami has won four of five as the teams head into Thursday night play.
Game: Miami Heat (26-25, 22-28-1 ATS) at Portland Trail Blazers (30-20, 25-25 ATS)
When: 10:00 PM ET, Sunday, April 11, 2021
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
America’s Bookie Current Line: OFF Total: OFF
TV Coverage: NBATV
Get Ready for Some Points
If there is a theme in Sunday night’s game, it will be points. The majority of those points will come from Portland and the backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Lillard is third in the NBA in scoring, putting up 29.2 points a game. McCollum averages 23.8 a game and has been a huge boost since returning from an injury.
Portland has been filling it up as of late. In their last five wins, the Trail Blazers have recorded point totals of 133, 124, 122, 125, and 125. Portland is fifth in the league in scoring averaging 115.2 points per game. Over their last three, the Trail Blazers are scoring 119.3.
Now, Portland will have to contend with the Miami defense, which is one of the better units in the league. Head coach Erik Spoelstra has built the Heat into one of the elite defenses in the NBA.
Miami is tied for third in points allowed per game - 107.4 - with Utah. What the Heat are very good at is defending shooters. They are third in defensive field goal percentage.
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Portland did overcome the Heat defense in the first meeting against Miami. McCollum went off shooting 14-of-25 (6-of-14 from three-point range) and scored 35 points. Lillard added 22 and nine assists as the Trail Blazers shot 56 percent from the field and over 47 percent from behind the arc.
Playing at home, expect Portland to shoot well again. Lillard and McCollum will push the pace. Ironically, Portland is just 20th in possessions per game. Miami ranks near the bottom of the league at 27th in the same category.
We were right around the number in our last pick, take a look at our VCU vs. St. Bonaventure free pick.
Heat at Trail Blazers Free Pick
Despite Miami’s penchant for defense, the total in their last seven games has gone Over five times. The highest total the Heat faced in those seven games was 217.5.
On the other end, Portland has seen similar results. Not surprisingly, the total in Portland’s last seven games has also gone Over five times. The Trail Blazers have faced much higher totals than Miami. Portland recorded two Overs with a total set at 229.
The key for Sunday’s matchup is where the total is set. Portland was favored by 2.5 last time in Miami. At home, expect them to be favored by four or more. The total in the last game was 216. Expect that to be a bit higher and play the Over up to 229.
NBA Free Pick: OVER up to 229
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