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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

Dec 14 NBA Action: Miami Heat @ Atlanta Hawks

Miami Heat +6.5 (-105) @ Atlanta Hawks

Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

December 14, 2015, 8:00PM EST

Our models highlight the Heat to cover on the road versus the Hawks tonight. Our simulation-rooted programs see the home team winning by about 3, while our power rankings work gives Atlanta about a 4 point edge. As such, we find Miami +6.5 compelling.

The Heat's top-notch defense is likely key to their ability stay close to a Hawks team that boasts superior offensive prowess. This is possible (likely even?), consdering that Miami ranks 4th in the league in Defensive Efficiency, 3rd in Opponents' Effective Field Goal Percentage and 3rd in Opponents' True Shooting Percentage.

Center, Hassan Whiteside (#22), and Forward, Chris Bosh (#31) both rank among the top-50 defensive players in professional basketball (per ESPN's DRPM metric). Second-tier Miami players, Josh McRoberts and Udonis Haslem, also make the top-100.

Heat supporters must come to terms with the onesidedness of recent betting trends in order to back Miami. The Hawks have taken 7 of the last 8 against the spread in head-to-head play versus the Heat. This run includes a 4-0 stint at home.

As definitive as the preceding stats appear, we keep telling ourselves that, while valuable for context, betting trends alone are not great forecasting tools. We place significantly more emphasis on the output of our multi-variate quant work, which unanimously endorses a Miami cover. Accordingly, we are siding with the road dogs.

Happy betting!!

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