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Expert handicapper Stephen Rodriguez tells us who he's backing in Wednesday's NBA action

PICK OF THE DAY: (**2u) Miami Heat -10 @ - 110**

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Miami Heat, 7:30 PM:

  •  Minnesota has the worst ATS record in the NBA (19-35-2). (Stat courtesy of Statschecker).

The reason we’re backing the Heat

Miami (36-21) fell flat on their face, blowing a 19-point fourth-quarter lead to eventually lose in overtime to the Cleveland Cavaliers 125-119.

The Heat were without Jimmy Butler but Bam Adebayo picked up the slack, nearly totaling a triple-double with 22 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists, four blocks and three steals. Goran Dragic came off the bench and added 22 points with six assists and four rebounds.

Minnesota (16-40) lost a fifth consecutive game after getting handled on the road by the Dallas Mavericks 139-123.

Defense was optional for the Timberwolves, allowing the Mavs to shoot over 50 percent from the field and seven different players to score in double figures.

D’Angelo Russell did what he could to keep Minnesota afloat, scoring a game-high 29 points on 10-of-20 shooting, and Malik Beasley followed behind with 21 points on 5-of-12 shooting from three-point range.

Minnesota has struggled ATS all season and to make matters worse they’re without arguably their best player in Karl-Anthony Towns. On top of that, Miami has one of the best home records in the NBA (23-3).

(1u) Houston Rockets -10 @ -110

Memphis Grizzlies @ Houston Rockets, 8:00 PM:

  •  The Grizzlies have a 3-5 ATS record against Houston at the Toyota Center since 2015-16.

The reason we’re backing the Rockets

The Memphis Grizzlies and the Houston Rockets are two teams headed in completely opposite directions.

Houston (37-20) picked up a fourth straight win when taking down the New York Knicks without breaking much of a sweat 123-112.

The NBA’s leading scorer James Harden was as good as advertised, knocking down four three-pointers for a game-high 37 points with nine assists and six rebounds.

Memphis (28-29) continued their tough road trip with a third consecutive loss, getting blown out by the Los Angeles Clippers 124-97.

The Grizzlies couldn’t contain the Clippers, allowing them to shoot over 50 percent from the field and 43 percent from three-point range.

Ja Morant was the lone starter to get anything offensively, scoring a team-high 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting.

These teams have split the first two meetings with each other in Memphis this season.

But based on the Grizzlies’ recent road troubles and Houston’s success at home (20-8), I like the Rockets to cover the spread.

(1u) Utah Jazz -4 @ -110

Boston Celtics @ Utah Jazz, 10:30 PM:

  •  The Jazz have a 5-5-2 ATS record against the Celtics since 2013-14.

The reason we’re backing the Jazz

Boston (40-17) bounced back on the road by taking down the Portland Trail Blazers 118-106.

All five of the Celtics’ starters scored in double figures, led by the efforts of Jayson Tatum.

Tatum was red-hot, knocking down eight three-pointers on 14-of-22 shooting for a game-high 36 points with five rebounds. Jaylen Brown followed behind with 24 points and seven rebounds.

Utah (36-21) had a long night defensively and were outscored by 20 in the second half when losing to the Phoenix Suns 131-111.

The Jazz allowed the Suns to shoot over 56 percent from the field and 60 percent from three-point range.

Donovan Mitchell was the silver lining during the loss, scoring a game-high 38 points on 11-of-19 shooting, including six made three-pointers.

Although Utah’s recent struggles at home are concerning, they’re still (20-8) at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

With that said, I’m anticipating the Jazz to finally bounce back at home and get back on track.


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