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It’s a Southeast Division matchup on the floor down in Hotlanta. The Miami Heat is on the road as they make the trip to face the Atlanta Hawks Sunday evening. Miami picked up a 115-109 home win over the Wizards in their last contest Friday night. Atlanta was walloped 144-112 on the road by Milwaukee in their last contest Friday night. The Heat owns a 65-52 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the teams but the Hawks have taken both matchups this season, including a 115-113 road win in the last matchup on November 27, 2018.
Miami Heat Seeking to Stay Hot
Miami reeled off their eighth win in 10 games as they moved above the .500 mark for the first time since they were 3-2. The Heat enter this contest leading the Southeast Division by 1.5 games over the Hornets. Miami led by seven after the opening quarter and by three at the half: they outscored Washington 15-6 over the final 4:32 of the third quarter to break an 80-80 tie and seize control of the game. The Heat led by seven with 3:15 to play and scored the game’s final five points after the Wizards made it a one-point game. Miami shot 48.4 percent from the field, including nine of 29 from three point range, and won the rebounding battle 48-41. Hassan Whiteside led the Heat with 21 points and 18 rebounds in the contest. Miami is 12-5 ATS on the road this season with the over 10-7 in those games.
James Johnson did his damage last night in the 1st (8 points) and 3rd (9 points) last night vs Washington.@IamJJ16 finished with 17 points (3 3PT FG), 4 rebounds and a +14 rating.
🔥🎥 #HEATHighlights pic.twitter.com/w1B1sP8KjU
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 5, 2019
The Heat has been mediocre offensively so far this season, ranking 25th in the league with 107.2 points per game. Miami has been above average on the glass as they are 4th with 47.6 boards per game. The Heat is 20th in assists with 23.3 dimes per contest. Miami comes in 7th in scoring defense as they allow 105.8 points per game. Goran Dragic is second on the Heat with 15.3 points and 4.9 assists per game this season. Josh Richardson (team high 18.5 points), Rodney McGruder (10.5 points, 4.3 rebounds) and Dwyane Wade (14.1 points) are solid contributors. Hassan Whiteside (13.1 points, 13 rebounds, 2.53 blocks) is a force in the low block while Derrick Jones Jr. and Kelly Olynyk have proven to be reliable options. Justise Winslow, Bam Adebayo, Wayne Ellington, James Johnson and Tyler Johnson are key pieces off the bench. Miami is 28th in field goal percentage as they shoot 43.9 percent as a team. The Heat stands 7th with 12 three pointers a night and 8th in three point shooting at 36 percent. Dragic is expected to be out eight weeks after knee surgery on December 19 while Dion Waiters made his season debut January 2 against Cleveland after missing all of the 2018 calendar year after ankle surgery.
Atlanta Hawks Seek Third Straight Win vs. Heat
Atlanta finished their three-game road swing winless as they were pasted by the Bucks in their last contest Friday night. The Hawks enter the game 12th in the Eastern Conference, seven games behind the Nets for the final playoff spot. Atlanta was done after the opening quarter in this one as they trailed 43-14 after 12 minutes. The Hawks were down by as many as 46 before cutting the deficit in garbage time. Atlanta shot 43.5 percent from the field, including 14 of 41 from three point range, and was hammered 53-32 on the glass. DeAndre’ Bembry led the Hawks with 19 points off the bench in the loss. Atlanta is 5-11 ATS at home this season while the over is 9-7 in those games.
Here's the total after last night: pic.twitter.com/U4QzStzwe3
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) January 5, 2019
The Hawks are 20th in the league in scoring offense with 109.2 points per game this season. Atlanta is 17th in the league in rebounding (44.8 rpg) and 7th with 25.7 assists per contest. The Hawks are 30th in the NBA in scoring defense as they allow 118.5 points per game. Taurean Prince is third on the team with 15 points per game on the year. Rookie Trae Young is second on the team with 15.3 points plus 7.5 assists while Kent Bazemore is putting up 14 points a night. The Hawks need more production from Miles Plumlee, John Collins (team-high 18.5 points, 10.2 rebounds), Jeremy Lin (10.5 points), Dewayne Dedmon, Omari Spellman, Vince Carter, Alex Poythress and Alex Len offensively in order to have any success. The Hawks are 25th in the league by shooting 44.6 percent from the floor as a team. Atlanta is tied for 9th in the league with 11.6 made three pointers a night and 27th in three point shooting as the team hits 33.4 percent from beyond the arc. Prince is out until at least mid-January with an ankle sprain: that takes the Hawks’ third leading scorer out of the mix. Bazemore is also out until mid-January with an ankle sprain while Plumlee is questionable for this contest, which could be a factor here.
- Hawks are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 home games
- Hawks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference foes
- Heat are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS loss
- Heat are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games
- Heat are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. Eastern Conference foes
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Miami is on a roll right now as they have eight wins in their last 10 games to move above .500 for the first time since the fifth game of the season. The Heat has been taking care of business lately and the return of Waiters helps their rotation. Atlanta beat Miami twice earlier this season but they’re coming off a 32 point pasting by the Bucks. The Hawks are just 6-10 at home this season while the Heat has a winning home record. Miami avenges their two previous losses to Atlanta and gets the victory in this contest.
Prediction: Miami Heat -6
Full-Game Total Pick
Miami looks to maintain their momentum as they have pushed over the .500 mark and moved into the top spot in the Southeast Division. Most importantly for the Heat, they’ve gotten healthy for the most part with Dragic the lone big piece missing at this point in time. Atlanta has had their struggles this season with injuries and young players having issues adjusting to the NBA style causing part of the problems. Will the Hawks find a way to make it three straight wins over Miami?
The over is 6-0 in their last six overall, 4-0 in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400, 4-0 in their last 4 games following a straight up win and 4-0 in their last 4 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. Atlanta has seen the over go 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record, 4-1 in their last 5 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game and 8-2 in their last 10 games following an ATS loss. Atlanta’s defense continues to struggle and pushes things over the total.
Prediction: Over 222
Half-Time Side Pick
Miami is on a roll over the last few weeks, which is a major reason that the team has moved into the division lead. The Heat has pushed over .500 and they’re getting healthy right now. The addition of Waiters helps add another backcourt scoring option for the Heat. With Prince, Plumlee and Bazemore out of the mix for this one, things are a bit of a challenge for the Hawks. Miami gets the upper hand at the half behind their tough defense and the Hawks’ leaky showing on that end of the floor.
Prediction: Miami Heat -3
Half-Time Total Bet
Atlanta lugs the league’s worst scoring defense into this contest as they have been torched repeatedly. The Hawks have allowed at least 120 points 17 times already this season and that’s a major cause for concern for head coach Lloyd Pierce. Miami has hit the 115 point mark in four of their last six games coming into this one. With the Hawks struggling on the defensive end of the floor and the Heat’s improving offensive attack, this one is over the number at the half.
Prediction: Over 112