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November 6, 2017

There is one pick tonight.

Take the UNDER 224 total points in Miami Heat vs. Golden State Warriors for 3% of the bankroll.

This should be a relatively high-scoring game but not as much as the inflated number (224 total points) suggests! There are several reasons we see this game staying ‘under’ the Vegas total and we’ll summarize them as best as we can in the next few paragraphs.

Steve Kerr has already voiced his displeasure with the team’s defense this season. He’s a coach that knows solid defense wins championships and knows good habits are built early on in the season. He’s been disappointed with the Warriors’ somewhat poor start to the season (3 losses already) and attributed that to their sporadic defensive effort. He mentioned that even in their wins, they’ve often simply out-scored the opposition in shootouts and not locked down defensively enough, something that they need to do if they are to reach the Finals again. Turnovers had also been a problem for Golden State and lead to quick fast-break points for the opposition. We expect his players to address those two issues tonight which will not only bode well for them but also result in a lower scoring game than most anticipate.

The Miami Heat are a very good defensive team under Erik Spoelstra and hang their hats on that. And with Hassan Whiteside back from injury over the last few games, they have a legitimate rim-protector back in the lineup. Whiteside is an imposing figure that blocks shots and limits offensive rebounds by the opponent on missed opportunities. That slows the pace of a game down and limits quick baskets. Miami has held opponents to just 45% shooting from the field and has some outstanding defenders on the court and in the second unit.

Dion Waiters will miss this game for personal reasons and will undoubtedly be missed by the Heat. Waiters has his shortcomings as a defender but offensively, he’s Miami’s most talented player and is capable of creating something out of nothing on his own. The Heat often put the ball in his hands with the shot clock winding down or on broken plays in offensive sets and more often than not, he’s somehow found a way to score! He has the highest usage rate among Heat players and from an offensive point of view brings a lot to this squad. His absence means Goran Dragic has to do even more since his likely replacement in the lineup (Justise Winslow) is very much a defensive player. Josh Richardson will like shift down to a two-guard position making room for Winslow to enter the lineup as small-forward. Winslow has a lot of room to improve on the offensive side but is a pretty good defender and will have better luck in guarding Golden State players than Waiters would have.

The Warriors have shot over 51.8% from the field in each of their last 4 games! Not only that, they’ve gone 57%, 54.9% and even 58.4% with field goals in three of those games! Yes, the Warriors are a great offensive team but those numbers aren’t sustainable for any team. And certainly not likely to hold up against a stout Miami defense. We believe Golden State will get its fair share of points tonight but we don’t see them putting up 127 points like they did in their last game against the Nuggets! For this game to go ‘Over’, they need to put up almost that many points while Miami also needs to reach triple-digits. We see at least one of those two outcomes not happening. Take the under in this matchup as that’s where sharp money is.

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