Back Motivated Heat -8.5 As Your NBA Pick Against Pelicans

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 2:24 PM GMT

Tuesday, Mar. 22, 2016 2:24 PM GMT

This is yet another one of our highly successful NBA late-season super-surgers vs. towel-tossers. Get the NBA picks that win, despite the obvious nature of the selections.

Miami Heat vs. New Orleans Pelicans
 Miami and New Orleans met in S. Florida on Christmas Day. Miami emerged with a (94-88) victory. But, that was when Miami had Chris Bosh (11-5 SU in his absence) and New Orleans had Anthony Davis (now shut down for the rest of the season with knee and shoulder injuries).

Without Davis in the lineup, New Orleans responded with a victory on Saturday against the LA Clippers. Before you get excited about that result, know that New Orleans is just 10-15 ATS following a victory this season. New Orleans is mired in the No. 12 slot in the Western Conference playoff queue. At 8 ½ games behind the 8th spot and with 4 teams to leap frog (only 12 games remain), the Pelicans have become the epitome of a “towel-tosser.”  

This is exemplified by the fact they have chosen to shut down Davis for the season. Remember, he is not the first Pel to be on the injured list in what has been a frustrating, injury plagued season for 1st year HC Gentry. Gordon and Evans have already been shut down for the season, while Cole, Anderson and Asik remain questionable from game to game with various ailments. At the heart of the many New Orleans’ issues is a defense that has allowed 106.4 per game. That alone points out a play in this game as Miami allows just 97.9 PPG (4th best in the NBA).  

The Miami story is far more compelling. The timely addition of Joe Johnson shortly after Bosh (blood clots) was shut down has resulted in an offensive surge for the Heat. In 11 games, Johnson has averaged 16 PPG, including 58% from the field and 23/39 from behind the arc. It has been a clear boost to the Miami fortunes, as they have scored in triple digits in their last 10 contests.  

 

Betting Analysis
Miami certainly won’t lack for motivation. A quick look at the standings shows that Miami currently occupies the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff queue. But, they are virtually tied with Atlanta and Boston for that position and only 4 games away in the loss column from falling out of playoff contention completely.  

Even though they have the satisfaction of having defeated Cleveland on Sunday, there can be no letdown by Miami, as they continue to super surge for best playoff position. It should be noted also that this has been Miami’s best role with a record of 11-3 ATS as road chalk, including 5-0 ATS as road favorite of 4 or more points. 

I invite you to put the NBA odds boards in your favor and join me in my NBA pick on the Miami Heat tonight.

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NBA Pick: Miami Heat -8.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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