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NBA: Easy wins for Heat and Blazers point to spread value

| 23.01.2014

With just two NBA matches scheduled tonight and both featuring heavy home favourites the chances of spectacular returns appear slim.

However, the handicap betting market offers a glimmer of hope, with our Miami and Portland double paying out at just over 5/2 with a £10 stake returning a healthy £72.89.

Miami Heat (-12) to beat LA Lakers @ 10/11

Miami (30-12) have been struggling defensively of late but tightened things up with a 93-86 win over Boston last time out.

The back-to-back champions will be confident of going 2-0 in this latest run of home games against a Lakers (16-26) side that is out of form and missing Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash through injury.

The Californians are 3-13 from their last 16 and 2-8 from 10 on the road. These records are certain to worsen at the AmericanAirlines Arena where the Lakers are 0-5 from five visits.

Miami are 8-1 from nine in front of a home crowd and if the newfound defence can show up again expect the 12-point handicap to prove an irrelevance.

Portland Trail Blazers (-7) @ Denver Nuggets @ 10/11

Both of these sides come into this fixture on the back of two losses but it is Portland (31-11), who are yet to lose three in a row this season, that will return to winning ways here.

The Trail Blazers were on a five-game streak before coming unstuck in tricky ties with Houston and Oklahoma City but are expected to make light work of the travelling Nuggets (20-20).

Denver were on a five-game run of their own before going down against Utah but after losing six of their last seven visits to the Moda Center will be forced to wait for another win.

The hosts may have slipped to third in the Western Conference but Terry Stotts’ team remain the NBA’s leading scorers and with the Nuggets shipping an average of 117 over this last four games, the seven-point handicap shouldn’t prove too big an obstacle for the Blazers.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.