NBA Betting: Heat trail Pacers in Eastern standings

Still trying to chase down the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference standings, LeBron James and the Miami Heat will embark on a western road swing this week that's highlighted by their NBA betting odds matchup at Los Angeles' Staples Center against the Clippers on Wednesday night.

The Heat enter the week three games behind the Pacers in the Eastern Conference standings, with Miami at 33-13 (21-25 ATS) on the season, and Indiana sitting at 36-10 (29-17 ATS). Both of those teams are in action on Monday night, with the Pacers playing host to the Orlando Magic and the Heat getting a visit from the Detroit Pistons.

It's Wednesday's matchup with the Clippers, however, that is Miami's spotlight game this week, with Los Angeles entering the week at 34-16 (29-21 ATS) and atop the Pacific Division standings. Miami hosted Los Angeles back on November 7, winning 102-97 but not covering the 6.5-point spread on the NBA betting lines at the sportsbooks in that contest.

That dropped the Heat to 2-4 ATS in their last six games against the Clippers on the NBA odds since 2011.

Miami has had a little more recent ATS success against the Jazz, who they'll battle in Utah on Saturday night this week. The Heat are 3-2 both SU and ATS in their five most recent games against the Jazz, beating them 117-94 in Miami as a 12-point favorite in their first meeting of the season back on December 16.

The Pacers, meanwhile, have a busier schedule this week as they also play in Atlanta on Tuesday night and host Portland on Friday night before getting a rematch with the Magic in Orlando on Sunday night. Indiana topped Orlando 97-87 back on October 29 but didn't cover a big 12-point spread on the NBA betting lines at the sportsbooks in that contest.

Other top NBA betting matchups early this week include the Clippers at Denver on Monday, Phoenix at Houston and Dallas at Memphis on Wednesday, and San Antonio at Brooklyn and Chicago at Golden State on Thursday.

Along with Portland at Indiana on Friday night the NBA odds slate also includes Toronto at the Clippers, with Saturday offering up Golden State at Phoenix, and Sunday including New York at Oklahoma City, Chicago at the Lakers, Dallas at Boston, and Philadelphia at the Clippers.

Heading into the week the Heat are listed as the 12/5 favorites on the odds to win the NBA championship this season despite the fact they continue to trail the Pacers in the Eastern Conference standings; Indiana is at 11/4 on that list.

The Thunder (5/1), Spurs (9/1), Warriors (12/1), Clippers (12/1), Trail Blazers (14/1), and Rockets (16/1) are the second tier of NBA title contenders at the sportsbooks with the All-Star Break approaching, with the Nets the only other team above 50/1 odds on that futures list - they sit at 33/1.


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