Friday night NBA and we will see the Miami Heat travel to Smoothie King Center to take on the New Orleans Pelicans. The game has a start time of 8:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ESPN. Current Vegas betting odds have the Heat listed as 1.5 point favorites, while the total is set at 196.
Analysis: The Miami Heat have won 3 of their last 4 games, but those wins were vs New York, Philly and Orlando, while their lone loss in that stretch was at home to this same New Orleans team. Overall the Heat are 25-31 on the year and if the playoffs started today they would have a 7th seed in the East. Miami has gone 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss, but just 3-13 ATS in their last 16 vs. the Southwest Division. Miami has been a poor offensive team this year, ranking 28th in scoring (93.5 ppg), 11th in shooting, 18th in 3 point shooting and 22nd in FT shooting. The defense for this team has been very good as they come in ranked 4th in points allowed (96.7 ppg), 24th in defensive FG% and 26th in 3 point defense.
The New Orleans Pelicans have shaken off a 4 game losing streak to with their last 3 games, which includes a 105-91 win at Miami 6 days ago. For the season New Orleans is 30-27 overall and 2 games behind Oklahoma City for the final playoff spot in the West. New Orleans has gone 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 vs. the Southeast and 6-1-1 ATS the last 8 home games in the series. The Pelicans have been an average offensive team this year, ranking 17th in scoring (99.7 ppg), 13th in shooting, 10th in 3 point shooting and 13th in FT shooting. Defensively the Pelicans have been average this year, ranking 15th in points allowed (99.4 ppg), 26th in defensive FG% and 12th in 3 point defense.
Pick: Going with the Under here. The Heat have very little offense, but they do know how to play defenses and after allowing 105 points to New Orleans a few games ago, I expect Miami to full focus on defense here. In Miami's last game vs New Orleans they were good for just 91, while on Wednesday night they scored just 93 points in Orlando, and needed OT to do so. This is not a good offense at all and they should struggle again vs a New Orleans team that has allowed just 94.8 ppg in their last 4 games. Miami is 4th in the league in points allowed and will shut down New Orleans, while the Heat will struggle to score themselves.
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Handicapping Tips: NBA Betting
Bryan Leonard and Steve Fezzik, from Pregame.com discuss some handicapping tips for betting the NBA.