NBA Picks: Expect Focused Hornets To Cool Down The Heat

Charles Stark

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 11:23 AM GMT

After putting a thumping on Charlotte in game 1, NBA odds have Miami as home favorite. Will Heat run Hornets out of the building, or will Hornets make game 2 more interesting?

Odds makers have made Charlotte a +4.5 underdog like at Bookmaker -110. For one of my NBA picks I will back the Hornets plus the points and look for them to bounce back from a horrible game one performance. This is a much better team that matches up with the Heat closer than what we just saw.

Charlotte Hornets
In game one the Hornets shot 43% from the field and 35% from distance and got out-rebounded 49-37 on the boards. Part of the issue, or all of the issue I should say, was that Miami was on fire from the get go and ended up with some really strong offensive statistics.

Compared to their seasonal averages Charlotte was not that far off in this game but simply could not get any stops against the Heat. What was probably the most surprising statistic was that they got to the line 37 times compared to 21 times by Miami and still lost by over 30.

For me this is the real issue, how do odds makers make a team that lost by over 30 points the previous night just a +4.5 underdog in the next game? That line seems way off but when we start to break these teams down that game was just a matter of a team getting hot and not indicative of how close these two truly are.

Against the Heat on the season they were 2-1 with the loss being by just three points. Expect a much different Hornets team tonight.

Must Read: Other Handicappers Have Big Expectations From Heat

Miami Heat
In game one Miami shot over 57% from the floor and 50% from distance and only had six turnovers. They simply could not miss all night and put up one of their biggest scoring displays of the year in impressive fashion.

On the year Miami was not nearly as impressive offensively ranking 23rd in scoring and 25th in three point shooting percentage. They got up more shots than normal but what I thought was extremely interesting was that they held the Hornets to just 65 attempts from the floor which is of course well below their 84 average.

Part of this reason was Charlotte getting to the line quite often but a lot had to do with great defense from the Heat, from both sides of the ball it was a great performance by them. In game two it will be almost impossible for them to shoot the ball at the same rate in which they did in game one and I expect the Hornets to make some solid adjustments against them.

Miami is far from an offensive juggernaut and I expect their averages to drop significantly tonight giving Charlotte the ability to take this to the wire. This game reminds me of the OKC Dallas matchup and the NBA odds boards are on top of this game.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3011085, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,93,92,238,169,349], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
Free NBA Pick: Charlotte Hornets +4.5 (-110)
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker