In this battle between two squads from opposing conferences with almost identical records, the Miami Heat (17-17), who have lost only once in their last seven games, are hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves (16-19), who are looking to bounce back after their latest defeat.
Date/Time: 12-30-2018, 18:00 EDT
Spread: Miami Heat -3.5
Miami Heat have a 17-17 record (20-14 against the spread) so far this season and currently sit in the 6th place of the East. They have won six of their last seven matches and in their last game they won at home against the Cavaliers with a 118-94 score, beating the odds. They are led in scoring by Josh Richardson with 18.4 ppg, adding 3.9 boards and 3.8 dimes per game. He is followed by Goran Dragic with 15.3 ppg, 3.1 boards and a team high 4.9 dimes per game but he is out with an injury.
Minnesota Timberwolves have a 16-19 record (18-17 against the spread) so far this season and currently sit in the third to last place of the West. In their last game they saw a two-game winning streak getting snapped by losing at home against the Hawks with a 120-123 score in overtime, not beating the odds. They are led in scoring by Karl-Anthony Towns with 21.2 ppg, adding a team high 11.8 boards per game. He is followed by Derrick Rose with 18.9 ppg and 4.8 dimes per game.
In their two meetings last season each team won once on the road (Heat by 12 points and Wolves by 3 in overtime). Heat have an 8-10 home record, while the Wolves are 4-13 on the road. Wolves are better offensively, scoring 111.4 ppg to Heat’s 106.7 ppg, while Heat are better defensively, allowing 105.9 ppg to Wolves’ 111.5. Wolves have a better field goal percentage (45% to 43.7%), while both teams have almost identical 3-point percentage (36% to 35.8%). Heat are better in boards grabbed (47.5 to 44.3), while Wolves are better both in turnovers committed (13 to 14.3) and in dimes made (24.4 to 23.1). Heat have been playing much better lately and Vegas odds give them a -3.5 spread and expect them to beat the odds for the home victory.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs Miami Heat Prediction: Miami Heat -3.5 (-109)
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