Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Clippers Betting Preview – NBA, February 15, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| February 15, 2021 1:19 pm PDT

Miami looks to bring the Heat to LA as they take on the Clippers at the Staples Center. The Heat are on the cusp of the eight seed in the Eastern playoff race, while the Clippers have both the Lakers and the Jazz in their sights as they chase a Western Conference title.

The Clippers have beaten the Heat on the last four occasions that they have met. The most recent game was just over two weeks ago when they won a closely fought contest 105-109 in Miami. It was a very topsy-turvy game with both teams dominating two-quarters of the match. Oddly enough, the Heat have enjoyed playing in LA more than in Miami recently as they have won four of the previous six head-to-head games on the road.

Look for the Heat to start fast as they have had the halftime lead in matches between them more often than not. If they don’t, it could be a long night for them.

Here are the game odds, my team analysis, and betting prediction.

Heat vs. Clippers Odds

Heat +5.5-110
Clippers -5.5-110
Heat To Win+194
Clippers To Win-225
Over 220.5-110
Under 220.5-110

I think the spread is spot on here, which could make life challenging to pick a winner. Although the points total is on the low side for an NBA game in 2021, I still believe it might be a bit high and could offer some value to take it on.

The Heat have a terrible record as the underdogs this season, having only won two of the ten matches they entered as the outsiders.

Heat Form

The Heat’s best run of the season ended last time out against the Western Conference’s top team, the Utah Jazz. Before being firmly put in their place by the Jazz, they had previously won their last four games in a row. Although Utah comprehensively beat them, they again won two quarters in the game, highlighting that they often blow hot and cold during their games. They certainly hit a flat spot during their games, just as they did against the Jazz by not scoring a single point in six minutes during the match.

Although they have a good record in LA, they haven’t traveled we’ll this season, winning only four of their 12 away fixtures. However, two of those four wins came in their last three road trips.

Latest Betting Trends for Miami
Bet Type Trend
ATS They have only won three of their previous 11 games.
Total Five of their last six games have gone under the betting total.
ATS The Heat have only won one of their last six games against the Clippers.
Total Only two of their previous seven games on the road have failed to go under the points total.
SU Although they have done well in LA recently, it hasn’t always been that way, as they have won only five of their last 16 games there.
ATS Miami is 1-4 in their previous five games against teams from the west coast.
SU They have lost nine of their last 13 games against teams based in the Pacific Division.

They haven’t done well against the spread recently, so either they are losing heavily, or the bookmakers are overestimating them. I suspect that it’s a little bit of both. The above trends also highlight that Miami has been involved in many low scoring games as of late.

Therefore, it is no surprise to see that the Heat doesn’t have a great attack. They average 106 points per game, predominantly being let down by the league’s worst offensive rebound game this season. They aren’t much better at the ever end of the court either, which means they see less of the ball, which doesn’t help this low point average either.

What also isn’t helping is the number of turnovers they are making each game as they have the highest average in the league. This is undoubtedly a table that you don’t want to be at the top of in the NBA.

Thankfully, they have a good defense that has reduced their opponents to an average field goal percentage of 44%. Rather than forcing the issue by making steals and blocks, they try to minimize their opponents’ space.

The Heat have four players missing tonight, with Dragic, Bradley, Leonard, and Silva all battling injuries.

Clippers Form

The Clippers have responded well to losing back to back games for the only time this season by winning their last three in a row. They haven’t beaten any teams of note, but they have put the defeats to the Celtics and the Kings well and truly to bed.

They have done well in LA this season and have won nine of their 13 home games. However, half of those defeats came in their last three home fixtures, and their only win came against the lowly placed Cavaliers.

Latest Betting Trends for Los Angeles
Bet Type Trend
Total Four of their previous five games have gone over the betting total.
SU They have won 14 of their last 18 matches.
Total Eight of their previous 12 games against Miami has gone under the points total.
Total The total has gone over in five of their last six games against teams in the Eastern Conference.
ATS They have only lost one of their previous six matches against teams in the Southeast Division.
ATS There are no weekend hangovers for the Clippers as they have won eight of their last 12 games played on a Monday.

The above highlights how well they have performed this season and their games have generally gone over the points total, apart from when they have met the Heat.

The Clippers have a magnificent offense that would be pushing for the title of the best attack in the league if they rebounded better. They are scoring at 48%, which is the fourth-best percentage in the league this season. LA is also the best in the NBA at shooting three-pointers, which means they can hurt you from anywhere on the court. This is hard to set up and defend against as it’s hard to know what approach to take.

One approach that definitely won’t help is playing aggressively against them as they are the best team at shooting from the free-throw line. The best way would be to take the ball away from them and hold onto possession for as long as possible, but that is easier said than done when they do not turn the ball over very often.

Their defense is strange as their stats don’t particularly read well, but they still only concede on average 107 points per game. It’s probably down to spending so much time with the ball, their opponents don’t get a chance to score against them.

The Clippers have relied on George and Leonard often this season, but they seem to cope well without the pair of them against the Cavaliers last time out. However, it will be interesting to see how they go should they continue to be absent.

Heat vs. Clippers Pick

Pick
  • Clippers To Win
    -225

There is no doubt in my mind that the Clippers will win this game as the number of turnovers that the Heat are making right now will play straight into their hands. However, there are still doubts about both George and Leonard’s fitness, so I don’t think I want to take the Heat on with the handicap. I was tempted to opt for under the points total, but even without two of their star players, the Clippers can produce loads of points, so I can’t bring myself to take them on.

Therefore, I will play this one safe and take the Clippers to win straight up.

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