NBA Picks: Heat vs. Hornets

Steven Suarez

Friday, March 29, 2013 12:23 PM GMT

Friday, Mar. 29, 2013 12:23 PM GMT

The streak is over now, but the Heat are aiming to start a new one tonight against the Hornets in the Big Easy. What kind of value have we found with our NBA picks?
Odds Overview 

We just looked over the NBA odds and Miami was favored by 6.5 points at most online sportsbooks. The O/U is at 192.5.

This season the Heat have gone 37-34 ATS, while the Hornets are at 36-36 ATS.

[gameodds]5/223314/43/us[/gameodds]

Miami Heat

Finally, the wonderful winning streak has come to an end. What a run it was. The Heat had won 27 games in a row, but met their match on Wednesday in a 101-97 loss to the Bulls in the Windy City.

Chicago did not back down whatsoever, playing hard throughout and making numerous physical plays. It worked, despite another huge game from LeBron James.

LeBron had 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, three assists, four blocks, and two steals. Dwyane Wade had 18 points (7-of-13 FG), while Chris Bosh contributed 21 points, four boards and four blocks in just over 35 minutes.

Miami's defense let them down though, as the Bulls shot 47.1 percent and finished with 101 points despite turning the ball over 20 times.

Wade tweaked his ankle again in the loss, but is probable to play tonight. He had 26 points in the Heat's only meeting with New Orleans this season, so Erik Spoelstra will be ecstatic to have him in the lineup.

When it comes time to place our NBA picks, is the return of Wade enough to make the Heat worthy of the -8.5 price tag?

New Orleans Hornets

The Hornets saw their three-game winning streak come to a close in a 105-91 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Coming in New Orleans was a 5.5-point underdog in the NBA odds.

Eric Gordon dropped 24 points on 9-of-18 shooting, Antony Davis recorded 19 points and nine boards, and Robin Lopez and Brian Roberts scored in double figures as well. New Orleans fell short of the win despite beating up L.A. in the paint (46-34).

In the three games prior to the defeat, the Hornets had beaten Boston, Memphis, and Denver in consecutive home matchups.

Though they covered the spread in all three of those wins, the Hornets, on the whole, haven't been the best team to side with in terms of sports betting. They're just 6-13 ATS over their last 19 games overall, while going 2-6 ATS over their past eight against the Eastern Conference.

Getting a productive Greivis Vasquez back is going to be crucial to the Hornets' success to close out the season. He really struggled in his first game back from a sprained ankle and it's not secret that New Orleans functions much better when he's in good form.

NBA Pick

The Heat won by 16 in the only meeting between these teams in a game in which they shot a ridiculous 58.0 percent (40-of-69) from the field. LeBron and D-Wade totaled 50 points betwee them and three other Miami players hit double figures. 

We believe you have to side with the Heat again tonight. Though they're near double-digit favorites on the road, they've gone 10-4 ATS over their previous 14 away from home and they're still playing at an insanely high level despite finally losing their streak.

Additionally, LeBron and company have covered in four straight contests following a SU loss, so they've been bouncing back nicely.

The Hornets are capable of beating anyone on their day, but they're a little too inconsistent for our liking, so we're wary about selecting them with our sports picks. Therefore, let's back Miami to cover. 

NBA Picks: Miami Heat -6.5
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