The Miami Heat (17-15) will be at home in AmericanAirlines Arena when they clash with the New Orleans Pelicans (16-16). Action gets underway at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 23, 2017, and it can be seen on Fox Sports – New Orleans.
New Orleans Pelicans at Miami Heat ATS Preview
The last time the Pelicans played, they defeated the Orlando Magic, 111-97. DeMarcus Cousins was the games high scorer with 26 points on 9-for-16 shooting. The Pelicans had an offensive rebounding percentage of 26.8 (above their season average of 20.3) and held the Magic to an effective field goal percentage of 0.447 (below their season average of 0.522).
The Heat come in on a high note after defeating the Dallas Mavericks in their last game, 113-101. Miami was lifted by Josh Richardson, who contributed 24 points and five assists. The Heat had a ridiculous effective field goal percentage of 0.750 (above their season average of 0.524) and held the Mavericks to an offensive rebounding percentage of 8.3 (below their season average of 17.3).
The upper-echelon offense of Miami will battle against the mid-tier defense of New Orleans. The Heat rank eighth in effective field goal percentage (0.530), while the Pelicans are 23rd in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.529). The Heat should have the advantage on that end of the court. It will also be a showdown of contrasting styles as the up-tempo Pelicans rank fifth in possessions per game, while the more half-court oriented Heat rank 28th.
These two teams are complete opposites in terms of the O/U total. New Orleans games have finished over 64.5 percent of the time, while games including Miami have gone under 61.3 percent of the time. Both teams have decent straight up (SU) records (16-16 for New Orleans; 17-15 for Miami), but the Pelicans have the edge against the spread (ATS). New Orleans is 17-14 ATS, while the Heat are 12-17-2.
Both teams have had a player heat up over their last five games. For the Pelicans, it’s been Jrue Holiday, who has averaged 25.0 points, 5.8 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 2.4 steals, while the Heat have gotten solid contributions from Richardson (19.0 points, 2.0 steals and 1.2 blocks).
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. Each won one of the two games played against each other last season. The Heat won the most recent contest 120-112. The Heat’s 28.6 offensive rebounding percentage was their largest advantage over the Pelicans, who had a mark of 19.5.
New Orleans Pelicans at Miami Heat Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Heat, ATS Winner – Heat, O/U – Under
- The Pelicans rank third in assists per game (26.3) while the Heat rank 23rd (21.2).
- Miami ranks 19th in points off turnovers allowed per game (17.0) while New Orleans ranks 26th (19.1).
- New Orleans ranks 12th in second chance points per game (12.2) while Miami ranks 29th (9.0).
- New Orleans is 9-7 ATS on the road with 10 overs and 6 unders.
- At home, Miami is 2-9-2 ATS with 7 unders, 5 overs and 1 push.
- Miami is 12-3 when they hold opponents below 100 points, while New Orleans is 5-0.
- In games where they score more than 100 points, the Pelicans are 14-11 and the Heat are 12-6.
- The Heat rank 13th in steals allowed per game (7.8) while the Pelicans rank 29th (9.1).
- New Orleans ranks second in points in the paint per game (50.6) while Miami ranks 27th (39.9).
- The Heat rank third in fast break points allowed per game (8.8) while the Pelicans rank 28th (14.3).
- Miami ranks second in three pointers allowed per game (25.4) while New Orleans ranks 24th (31.2).
- Miami is 2-3 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, New Orleans is 3-2 ATS with 5 overs.
- The Heat have outscored opponents by an average of 3.6 points in their last five games. On the season, Miami has been defeated by an average of 1.5 points.
- During their last five games, the Pelicans have scored an average of 113.2 points per game (2.5 above their season average) and allowed an average of 113.6 points per game (2.2 above their season average).