Hornets-Heat NBA Picks: Play Charlotte +6 as Miami Won't Cover

Steven Suarez

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 6:51 PM GMT

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015 6:51 PM GMT

The Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets open their season in South Beach tonight, and we're ready to break down the NBA odds and come up with our top free NBA pick.

Odds Overview
The NBA odds are very much in Miami's favor for the home opener. The Heat are favored by six points wherever we look, while we have a relatievly low total of 192 points posted.

Neither of these teams were all that efffective offensively last season, although the Heat did starting playing at a higher tempo once Goran Dragic was brought on board. The Hornets had one of the league's worst offenses, averaging only 94.2 points per game, but will look to improve on those numbers with their stars healthy again.

 

Miami Heat
We haven't seen a ton of change in South Beach, but all in all the roster is shaping up nicely for the start of the season.

First things first: Dwyane Wade is still around, and Chris Bosh has returned after having to sit out a large chunk of the year due to a blood clot in his lungs. He's returned to full basketball activities and is fully healthy, which is going to be huge for Miami's chances of making the playoffs. With a trio of Wade, Bosh and Goran Dragic, not to mention up-and-comer Hassan Whiteside and glue guy Luol Deng, the Heat have one of the more talented starting fives out there.

Will the bench help out? The likes of Mario Chalmers, Josh McRoberts, Amare Stoudemire, Gerald Green and rookie Justise Winslow among others figure to get their chances, giving Miami some solid bodies to rely on in their second and third units.

Start Cashing with Our Two Top Value Basketball Picks for Tonight's Action

Charlotte Hornets
Like the Heat, the Hornets' roster is looking pretty strong ahead of the start of the new season.

We all know Kemba Walker will be running the show at the point, and he's now got Jeremy Lin backing him up (and playing alongside him at times). Nicolas Batum was picked up from Portland and will immediately step into the starting five, with P.J. Hairston (in place of the injured Michael Kidd-Gilchrist), Cody Zeller and Al Jefferson expected to round out the lineup. Marvin Williams, Frank Kaminsky and Spencer Hawes should all see time off the bench, as should the inconsistent Jeremy Lamb. We expect to see a lot of Walker-Lin-Batum on the court together while MKG is out.

This is going to be Walker and Jefferson's team, however, and those two are going to have to stay healthy if the Hornets want any chance of making noise this season. Both have had injury problems in the past, including last season, so Steve Clifford will be hoping that changes in 2015-16.

 

NBA Pick
Many are going to want to take the Heat as chalk favorites, but we like the look of this Hornets team and think they'll well worth taking this evening.

Aside from Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte is healthy for the most part, and they just wrapped up a very successful preseason in which they won seven of eight games. Jefferson has slimmed down in an effort to be more productive, while Batum should be a nice piece to the puzzle for the Hornets, bringing a lot of versatility and experience.

We know how talented the Heat are too, and they're going to be challenging for the playoffs themselves. The return of Bosh is much-needed and will be a boost, but we do think it's going to take more time for this team to truly gel and find their best footing. We saw Miami lose and fail to cover quite a bit last season, and we could see that carry over into the early part of the new campaign. So, we'll add Charlotte to our  NBA pick for a busy Wednesday night.

Pick: Charlotte Hornets +6 at 5Dimes

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