NBA preview and tips: Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat

The NBA continues its relentless march down the home straight towards the playoffs as Miami Heat (35-31) welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers (41-26) to the Miami-Dade Arena.

Cleveland picked up a big win over Boston last time out, 118-114, coming back to take the game to overtime before squeezing their way over the line.

Coupled with their wins over Detroit and Toronto, it put the Cavs back on track and moved them past the 40-win mark.

Miami have just enjoyed back-to-back wins themselves, which has been something of a rarity of late, until they came against the Atlanta Hawks with the spread was set at -2.5 in both games. 

They covered that line comfortably in the first encounter before falling short with a narrow two-point winning margin second time around.
We've covered Cleveland's season in recent previews and it's no secret they have been less than stellar on the road, where their 13-19 records partly down to a demanding schedule against some tough teams.
But now Cleveland get to play upcoming back-to-backs in Miami, Charlotte, Brooklyn, and Orlando - all very winnable games, but their prior wobbles on their travels see them start as a narrow -2 favourite first up.
Miami barely have a winning record at 35-31, and it's true that is largely thanks to victories at home, where they've picked up 21 of those victories.
There has been a consistency about Miami all season, but they rarely win in bunches, with the result that we've seen them string together more than two consecutive wins on just three occasions.
They've fallen off a bit of a cliff at home when it comes to covering the spread, either dropping some games or failing to cover the spread against weak sides. They're on a 1-7 ATS (against the spread) run at home and 10-25 ATS in their last 35 at home.
Wherever you look, you find some ATS trends to support Cleveland. Miami are just 3-11 ATS at the moment, 10-26 ATS on the back of a straight-up win, 1-5 ATS as a home underdog, and 2-7 ATS against a team with a winning record.
The Cavs, despite their losing road record, are a road favourite here and that's a role they've lived up to with some aplomb.
Cleveland are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 starts as favourite, 8-3 ATS on the back of a loss, and on a 4-0 ATS run as a road favourite.
Miami have won just five games as an underdog this season and we also have to note that Cleveland are playing with a little revenge on their mind, after the Heat held them to 97 points and beat them in Cleveland earlier this year.

Miami shot one of their best averages of the season last time out at 53 per cent, making 16 shots from beyond the arc, which is again higher than usual.

All things considered, you might expect Miami to regress a little bit here and Cleveland have the tools to snatch a close one.

Suggested Bet

  • Cleveland Cavaliers -1.5 points

Match starts at 7.30pm EST (12.30am UK time)

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