Basketball betting fans will get the ultimate pro basketball Christmas present in a star studded NBA betting matchup of the Heat and Lakers from Staples Center in LA.
The Los Angeles Lakers will host the Miami Heat in what many handicappers believe will be a preview of the 2011 NBA Finals. ABC will telecast the game Christmas evening with a start time of 5 PM ET.
After a very slow start that put coach Erik Spoelstra on the hot seat the Miami Heat began to click and improved their overall record to 21-8 straight up and 14-15 with the NBA odds. Miami went under the total in 16 of their first 29 games. The Heat paid out in 8 of their first 14 road games while going under the total 9 times away from home.
Miami leaped to the top of the Eastern Conference and Southeast Division standings. Miami’s defense was highly impressive as it ranked 2nd overall for points allowed while the offense was finally starting to jell and ranked 11th for scoring. Miami won 11 consecutive games to begin December while getting the money 9 times.
LeBron James led the Heat with 24.5 points per game with Miami mainstay Dwyane Wade right behind with 23.6 points per game. Chris Bosh had 18.2 points per game and let the Heat in rebounds with 7.9 per game.
The only question now is if Miami can retain their board value as casual gamblers are likely to flock to them now that they are winning consistently and that will likely drive the prices up to unsustainable levels.
With all of the hype and attention given to Miami the defending world champion Lakers have had a quiet season despite their record of 20-7 straight up and 13-14 with the NBA lines. The Lakers covered just 5 of their first 12 home games, which is nothing new, as they have always had poor board value as one of the most popular teams with the gaming public.
The Lakers ranked 5th in scoring offense and 14th in defense. Kobe Bryant continued to be a key basketball betting asset with a team best 26.1 points per game while Pau Gasol had 11.2 rebounds per outing.