Back the Clippers to win the battle of LA and a low-scoring game between Miami and San Antonio, writes Unibet basketball columnist Mark Woods...
Miami Heat 2.14, San Antonio Spurs 1.72 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 01.05 GMT
The Miami Heat will stir up memories of their 2013 NBA Finals victory when they meet up with the San Antonio Spurs once more on Thursday night. And both teams have high hopes of another reunion come June.
The duo are currently 8.50 to both make it back, third on the combination list behind Miami and the Oklahoma City Thunder (4.50) and OKC versus the Indiana Pacers (4.50).
But these are two teams who know how to peak when it counts. And even though San Antonio were crushed 113-101 in late-January in the first re-match, it will matter little to either Erik Spoelstra or Gregg Popovich
What counts is form in spring and summer and there’s every sign that the powerhouses are gearing up for another title challenge.
The Spurs, with an almost full-strength roster, have won four straight and 11 out of 14, albeit through a relatively easy schedule stretch. While the Heat are 14-3 over their last seventeen with the fatigue factor evident in Tuesday’s narrow loss to Houston.
What will also help Miami is that although they trail Indiana in the East, they also have the weakest fixture list through the end of the regular season, giving them a legitimate shot at overtaking the Pacers and Thunder for the top overall seed.
Beating the Spurs would help and their improved defence could keep this under the total points line of 203.5. Yet with home advantage and a point to prove, go with San Antonio at -4.5 on the handicap at 2.25.
Los Angeles Lakers 6.25, LA Clippers 1.14 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 03.35 GMT
Pity the Lakers. Second-class in their own city. Second-rate in their own building.
The Clippers will go for a sixth successive victory when they take on their neighbours, despite the absences of Jamal Crawford and JJ Redick.
With the Lakers giving up 115.7 points per game over their last six outings, take the Clips on the handicap of -8.5 but there’s decent value in heading under the total points line of 216.5, available at 2.85.
Best bet: Go under the total points line of 203.5 in San Antonio – Miami at 2.50.