NBA Picks: Miami To Turn Up The Heat & Burn Hornets In Game 5

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 7:36 PM GMT

Hornets and Heat resume their best of 7, 2016 Round 1 Playoff series with Game 5. The MLB betting line has gone to (-6), despite the fact each of the teams has a 50-36 record for the year.

Home court has been the deciding factor in each of the first 4 games of this series, as the action returns to Miami for Game 5. The younger and deeper Charlotte team evened this series at 2 games apiece in Games 3 and 4, played in Charlotte. They won Game 3 by a margin of 16 points, then narrowly held off Miami with an 89-85 victory in Monday night’s Game 4.

With Miami sporting a 30-13 record at home and Charlotte an 18-25 road record, is it any wonder that a Miami team with greater playoff experience used their home court to great advantage in recording wins of 32 and 12 points in the first 2 games of this series?

In the last 2 games, however, the extended playoff minutes that were asked of veterans, Wade, Deng and Johnson, made it tough for them to be competitive down the stretch with the younger legs of the Hornets.

Most notably would be that of Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lin, who combined for 55 points in Game 4, while Courtney Lee held Wade to 12 points on just 4 of 11 shooting. Wade’s post-game interview included this quote about Walker, who had a playoff career high (34 points). “He’s crafty, every time we tried to make a comeback, he hit a big shot.”


 

Charlotte Hornets
As much as those 2 victories did to improve the Charlotte confidence, they will still be hard-pressed to be competitive in Miami. They have a tremendous amount of work to do to close the gap. In the first 2 games, Miami shot 67% in the paint against Charlotte. Following those 2 losses, it means that, including playoffs, Miami has won 19/21 on this floor against the Hornets.

 

Miami Heat
This year alone, Miami averaged 112 PPG on 55% shooting in the 4 games against Charlotte on this floor. Adding to Miami’s positive history at home is the fact that the Heat are recently 13-2 SU in their previous 15 post-season home games (only losses to San Antonio). Meanwhile, Charlotte has dropped 9 consecutive playoff games on the road in the last 14 years.

 

Final Analysis
The huge home/road dichotomy in this game simply cannot be ignored. Reinforcing this position is the fact that NBA home playoff teams in this price range, playing off back-to-back losses against sub .750 teams are a near 70% play, following Atlanta’s resounding victory against Boston last night. I invite you to put the NBA odds in your favor and join me in my NBA pick on the Heat tonight.

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Free NBA Pick: Miami Heat -6 (-105)
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker