Betting preview for Saturday's NBA games

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No lead is safe in the NBA, and bettors of the last two Phoenix Suns games know that all too well.

Two nights after blowing a 24-point lead to Brooklyn at home, the Suns found themselves down 11 to the Pelicans entering the fourth quarter. Phoenix, much like a mythical bird that is born from the ashes of its corpse, erupted in the final quarter of play. Chris Paul scored five points and assisted on five more buckets, and the Suns used a 27-5 run to win and cover against the Pelicans.

New Orleans allowed Phoenix to average 1.299 points per possession last night, and the over is now 20-2-1 in the last 23 Pelicans games. Stan Van Gundy has some work to do in Nawlins, and that defense is showing zero signs of improving. Does the ‘Naw’ stand for the response these Pelicans players have when asked to play defense? I’ll see myself out, and you can enjoy today’s NBA notes.

Note: *indicates that team is on the second leg of a back-to-back

Updated injury reports can be found here.

Updated odds for every game can be found here.

The Main Event

Miami Heat at Los Angeles Lakers (-3.5, 214.5)

There is no question the Lakers are in a low point of the regular season. They are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games, and coming off of a drubbing at the hands of the Nets on Thursday night. Over these 13 games, Los Angeles is averaging just 110.2 points every 100 possessions, and shooting just 30.7 percent from beyond the arc. The issues surrounding this offense are real, and there does not seem to be help coming anytime soon. Dennis Schröder has already been ruled out for this game as well, leaving the Lakers shorthanded when it comes to shot creation.

This struggling offense must now face a Heat team that has been spectacular on defense, even as they struggle themselves on offense. Since Jimmy Butler’s return, Miami has the fourth-best defensive rating in the league (108.7), which has allowed them to outscore their opponents over that stretch despite the 23rd-ranked offense (109.6). 

Two bad offenses and two great defenses will meet at Staples Center tonight, so it is not surprising to see this total bet down from 214.5 to 208 which is the widely available number at the time of writing . What is surprising is the side. Do you think Miami is power rated the same as Brooklyn? No? Then why are the Lakers laying the exact same number today as they were on Thursday?

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