LeBron James and the two-time defending league champion Miami Heat will look to shake off their late-season struggles and dispatch the upstart Charlotte Bobcats when they square off in their first round Eastern Conference playoff series starting on Sunday afternoon.
The Heat (54-28 SU, 37-43-2 ATS, 44-38 O/U) may have swept the Bobcats 4-0 during the regular season but they’re not playing very well right now as they hit the postseason riding a three-game SU and ATS losing streak that should have them – and their betting backers a bit worried.
Overall, Miami has dropped five of its last half-dozen games and six of its L/8 overall. Not only that, but two of Miami’s regular season wins over Charlotte (43-39 SU, 47-32-3 ATS, 38-42-2 O/U) came by four points or less with another victory coming by a respectable (for Charlotte) eight points.
Miami may have arguably the best ‘Big Three’ trio in the league, but on paper, that’s about all they have going for them right now as James, D-Wade and ‘soft’ jump-shooting power forward Chris Bosh are the only three players on the roster to average double digits in scoring.
Still, Miami did finish 12th in scoring and a league-leading first in field goal shooting percentage (50.1) while also ranking 12th in three-point shooting percentage and 14th in free throw shooting.
Miami may have made their name – and won their titles – by being a defense-first team, but this season, the Heat have struggled on that end of the floor as well. Miami finished fifth in points allowed (97.4 ppg), but also ranked a pedestrian 16th in defensive field goal percentage and 18th in defensive three-point field goal percentage.
Charlotte has a lot of reasons to be happy just to be in the postseason, but they don’t look like they’re going to roll over for Miami by any stretch of the imagination. As a matter fact, Charlotte is en Fuego (on fire) right now, having won three straight games and eight of their L/9 regular season contests while also going 6-3 ATS along the way.
The Bobcats were pretty abysmal on offense, finishing 23rd in scoring, 25th in field goal shooting, 23rd in three-point shooting and 24th in rebounding. Fortunately for Michael Jordan’s ballclub, the Bobcats also ranked a stellar fourth in points allowed and sixth in defensive field goal percentage.
Charlotte got a jaw-dropping season from veteran center Al Jefferson as he led the team in scoring (23.8 ppg, 10.1 rpg) while also getting a fine campaign out of lightning-fast floor leader Kemba Walker (17.7 ppg). Two other players also averaged double digits in scoring but it is defense that will have to be the key if they hope to pull off a shocking upset of the Heat.
Miami Heat Vs. Charlotte Bobcats NBA Playoff Betting Stats
- Bobcats are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
- Bobcats are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a S.U. win.
- Bobcats are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Bobcats are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games overall.
- Heat are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a double-digit loss at home.
- Heat are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a SU loss of more than 10 points.
- Heat are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Heat are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
- Under is 4- 0 in Bobcats last 4 vs. NBA Southeast.
- Under is 5- 2 in Bobcats last 7 overall.
- Under is 5- 1 in Heat last 6 vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
- Under is 8- 3 in Heat last 11 vs. Eastern Conference.
Key head-to-head betting stats for Miami Heat Vs. Charlotte Bobcats
- Favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings.
- Road team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
- Bobcats are 1-5 ATS in the last 6 meetings.