Heat Laying 4.5 Against Houston

The NCAA might be getting all the hype over this conference tournament weekend but the NBA schedule has a number of good matchups, including the Miami Heat hosting the Houston Rockets.

The Heat have struggle of late and will tip off at home versus Houston at 3:30 pm.

Since the heat last played Houston, nearly two weeks ago, the team has been playing poorly. The current line on Bovada and sportsbook.com has Miami favored by 4.5 points.

On betonline and topbet, the point total for the game is currently sitting on 209.

Miami has won 44 of its 63 games SU and 30 of its 63 ATS. The Heat owned a winning streak of 8 games and was 7-0-1 ATS in those same eight, when it played Houston March 4. The Heat lost that head-to-head battle in Houston 106-103 after playing at home against Charlotte the previous night.

Miami losing to Houston at Houston was not all that surprising or alarming. However, what has taken place since certainly can be described as worrisome.

The Heat has lost five of its past six games overall while going 1-5 against the number in those same six games. The Heat lost its last two games overall at home. Brooklyn defeated the Heat 96-95, while Denver won 111-107. In both games, the Heat was at least a 9-point favorite.

Over those same six games, LeBron James is scoring just 20 points per game, while his season average is nearly 27 points per game. James has handed off some of the offense, especially down the stretch in the fourth quarter to teammate Dwayne Wade, but that formula is not working out.

Miami is now three games behind the Indiana Pacers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. With only 19 games left in the regular season, the Heat must find a way out of this funk.

The Rockets this season are 44-21 SU and 33-29-3 ATS. The Rockets have not fared much better losing the first two of a three game road trip. The Rockets lost to Oklahoma City 106-98, as a dog by 4.5 points and to the Chicago Bulls 111-87 as a favorite by 3.5 points.

Before those two losses, the Rockets had won 5 straight and 15 of their past 17.

James Harden is averaging 24.5 points per game to lead Houston, but had only 8 in the loss against Chicago.

Miami is 1-5 straight and against the spread over its last six games. The UNDER has cashed in 4 of the past 5 games Miami has played.

The Rockets are 0-3 against the number in their last three games. Houston has covered 4 of the past 5 games playing at Miami.

The OVER has cashed in 5 of the last 6 games between the two teams.

Pick: I like Miami to cover and the OVER to cash out.