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Basketball Betting — Clippers Slightly Favored as They Open Home Stand Against Heat

The Los Angeles Clippers have not curled up and died since their leader and point guard Chris Paul went down with an injury; rather, they have thrived, and are within the upper reaches of the Western Conference. On Wednesday night they will play host to the Miami Heat in basketball betting action that tips off at 10:35 PM ET at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The Clippers come into this game with a record of 34-17 straight up, and they are 29-22 against the basketball pointspread. Currently they are in fourth place in the West, a game ahead of the Houston Rockets. The heat, which has one the last two NBA titles, is 34-13 straight up and 20-27 against the NBA odds. Miami is the second-place team in the Eastern Conference, where they are 3 1/2 games behind the Indiana Pacers.

In the basketball betting lines that have been placed on this game by the people at WagerWeb, the Clippers are slight favored at home on Wednesday:

Los Angeles Clippers -1.5
Miami Heat +1.5

Over 208 points -110
Under 208 points -110

Chris Paul has been out with a shoulder injury for the last 16 games, and it has to be considered a minor victory that the Clippers have won eleven of those games in his absence, in the process keeping themselves in the running to gain home-court advantage in a first round playoff series in the West. And we say this even though they lost their last game two nights ago at Denver by the narrowest of margins at the buzzer (116-115).

One thing that has been relatively consistent about the Clippers lately is the fact that they have shot the ball very well in fact, in five of their last seven games they have hit 50% or better from the field. That doesn’t necessarily translate into smashing pointspread success; in fact, they’ve only gone 4-3 against the basketball betting odds during that time. But we do know that this team has played at home all too seldom lately, displaced by things like the Grammy Awards and such, and they have won seven straight games at the Staples Center. In their last two outings they scored a 110-103 victory over Washington, who seems to be beating a lot of top-flight teams lately, and then on February 1 they easily dispensed of Utah 102-87 behind 51% shooting.

When you talk about good shooting, you are certainly talking about the Heat (+195 to win the NBA title in the basketball futures at WagerWeb), who have connected on slightly less than 51% of their shots for the season, leading the NBA in that category. So it really comes as no surprise that in five of their last six games, they have made more than half their shots. Of course, sometimes they forget to play the kind of defense that brought gold in the last two NBA Finals; for example, even though they shot 51% against Oklahoma City on January 29, they also gave up 51% to the Thunder and lost by 17 points. They have been sloppy with the ball lately, committing 20 turnovers in that game against Kevin Durant’s team and also 20 against Detroit in their last outing, even though they won that by a 102-96 score as the Pistons committed 21 miscues. Dwyane Wade’s effort was very encouraging, as he scored 30 points in that one. Of course, he has battled with little ailments all season.

Miami may have won five of its last six games straight up, but the Heat have dropped five of the last seven against the NBA betting odds. The Clippers have gone 20-3 straight-up at home but have covered only 12 of those 23 contests.

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