The Miami Heat (30-28) will attempt to end a five-game road losing streak when they clash with the New Orleans Pelicans (31-26) at Smoothie King Center. New Orleans is a 3-point favorite on the opening line, while the game’s Over/Under (O/U) opened at 214 points. Action starts at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, February 23, 2018, and it can be seen on Fox Sports – New Orleans.
Miami Heat at New Orleans Pelicans ATS Preview
The Heat lost a close one to the Philadelphia 76ers in their last matchup, 104-102. Miami’s Hassan Whiteside had a good game, recording 16 points and 10 rebounds. Philadelphia had an offensive rebounding percentage of 46.9 (above their season average of 25.3). Miami, on the other hand, did a great job of getting to and converting from the charity stripe (21-29; 72.4 percent).
In the Pelicans’ last matchup, they thoroughly outplayed the Los Angeles Lakers, 139-117. With 42 points on 15-for-18 shooting, Anthony Davis was the game’s leading scorer. New Orleans played a flawless game. They had a superb turnover percentage of 9.2 (better than their season average of 13.5) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 28.6 (above their season average of 19.7). For those same stats, Los Angeles was 17.0 and 16.3, respectively.
This contest should be a battle of contrasting styles. New Orleans likes to play fast (second in possessions per game), while Miami likes to grind-it-out (28th in possessions per game).
These two teams are complete opposites in terms of the O/U total. Games including Miami have finished under 55.2 percent of the time, while New Orleans games have gone over 59.6 percent of the time. Both teams have respectable straight up (SU) records (30-28 for Miami; 31-26 for New Orleans), but the Pelicans hold a slight advantage against the spread (ATS). New Orleans is 30-27 ATS, while the Heat are 29-27-2.
These teams have already met once this season. In that game, the two teams combined to put up 203 points, which was under the projected point total of 209.5. The Pelicans won 109-94, covering as 3.5-point favorites. New Orleans did an excellent job of converting from the charity stripe (16-19; 84.2 percent). Miami, meanwhile, had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (29.5 vs. 19.4). DeMarcus Cousins had a stellar game, with 16 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
Miami Heat vs. New Orleans Pelicans ATS Prediction
Free NBA Pick: SU Winner – Pelicans, ATS Winner – Heat, O/U – Over
- The Pelicans rank second in points in the paint per game (50.5) while the Heat rank 23rd (42.4).
- New Orleans ranks third in blocks allowed per game (4.1) while Miami ranks 12th (4.7).
- Miami ranks seventh in fast break points allowed per game (10.3) while New Orleans ranks 28th (14.2).
- Miami ranks 20th in rebounds per game (42.6) while New Orleans ranks 23rd in rebounds allowed per game (44.8).
- Miami is 21-11 ATS on the road, while New Orleans is 12-15 ATS at home.
- The total has gone over in 20 of the Pelicans’ 27 home games, while 18 of the Heat’s 32 road games have gone under.
- In games where they hold opponents below 100 points, Miami is 18-6 and New Orleans is 8-1.
- The Heat are 20-12 when they reach 100 points, while the Pelicans are 29-18.
- The Heat rank 12th in steals allowed per game (7.5) while the Pelicans rank 26th (8.3).
- Miami ranks third in three pointers allowed per game (25.9) while New Orleans ranks 28th (31.4).
- The Heat rank first in assists allowed per game (20.2) while the Pelicans rank 24th (24.3).
- The Heat rank 17th in points off turnovers allowed per game (16.2) while the Pelicans rank 25th (17.9).
- Miami ranks seventh in second chance points allowed per game (11.4) while New Orleans ranks 29th (13.8).
- New Orleans is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Miami is 3-2 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
- The Pelicans’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 1.0, up from 0.2 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Heat have scored an average of 103.0 points per game (2.5 above their season average) and allowed an average of 104.8 points per game (3.4 above their season average).