It appears as if Goran Dragic will make his Heat debut tonight against the Pelicans, and the NBA odds currently have Miami as the short favorites. Who should we back?
As of now, the Heat are the favorites, but there's really not much in it. They're laying just 1.5 points despite being at home.
Wanting to make a play on the game's total? We don't anticipate a high tempo to this game, and that's confirmed by the posted O/U of 189.5 on the NBA betting odds, which is easily the lowest number on the board for a relatively light slate of matchups here on Saturday.
It's been a crazy few days for the Heat, filled with good news and bad. Yes, Miami was able to lure Goran Dragic to South Beach, but news also came out that Chris Bosh has a blood clot and will be out indefinitely. There's a good chance he'll have to miss the rest of the season, which is obviously a huge blow for the Heat.
What a rollercoaster of emotions. Miami brings on board a much needed piece in Dragic, who will immediately step in as the starting point guard, but then they lose one of their leaders in Bosh. We'll continue to monitor the situation, but it looks like the Heat will have to move on with what they've got. Dwyane Wade has even more responsibility on his shoulders now, as does Hassan Whiteside, who has taken the NBA by storm with his play since entering the starting lineup.
Miami had little trouble getting past the woeful Knicks in last night's win inside Madison Square Garden, but tonight's obviously going to be a lot tougher. They need Whiteside to stay out of foul trouble and do a good job of limiting Anthony Davis as much as possible. Easier said than done.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans can't be pleased at all with their lackluster showing last night against the Magic. They only mustered up 84 points against an Orlando team that typically likes to push the pace, so that kind of offensive output is just not going to cut it, especially when you've got great players like Davis and Tyreke Evans.
However, it's clear this is a team that misses its floor leader in Jrue Holiday. Holiday is nearing a return and that's going to be a big boost, but until then it's going to be the Brow and Tyreke show each and every game. They're going to have to have herculean efforts to keep the Pelicans competitive, considering they don't have a lot of other guys who can take over offensively. Maybe Eric Gordon when he gets hot with his stroke, but that hasn't happened all that often.
In the highly competitive Western Conference, New Orleans simply has to pick up their level of play, or they're not going to have any chance of making the postseason. It's a dog eat dog world in the West and the Pelicans haven't been performing well. A win over Miami tonight could kick things into gear, however.
At this kind of number, we like the value on the Heat, especially if Dragic indeed suits up.
It's obviously a blow that Bosh won't be unavailable, but Dragic, Wade and Whiteside is still a nice trio to rely on, and the Heat also have a number of other guys who can contribute like Luol Deng and Mario Chalmers. They've got the experience and savvy to get wins, and we think they'll indeed carry over momentum from last night's blowout triumph over the Knicks.
It's going to be hard to contain Davis, but it's not like the Pelicans have impressed much lately, and this line isn't intimidating at all. We will add Miami to our NBA picks and look for them to pull out the win at home.
NBA Pick: Miami Heat -1.5 at 5Dimes