The New Orleans Pelicans (26-36) will be at home in the Smoothie King Center when they clash against the Miami Heat (40-22). The Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 235.5 points with New Orleans set as a 2-point favorite. Action starts at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, March 6, 2020, and it can be seen on ESPN.
Miami Heat vs. New Orleans Pelicans ATS Preview
The Heat barely escaped the Orlando Magic in their last game, 116-113, but failed to cover as 6.5-point favorites. With 25 points and nine assists, Miami’s Goran Dragic played well. Miami played a nearly flawless game. They had an offensive rebounding percentage of 16.7 (below their season average of 20.6) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.658 (above their season average of 0.548). Orlando was 14.3 and 0.601, respectively, for those same stats. The two teams combined to score 229 points, which was over the O/U total of 218.5.
In the Pelicans’ previous game, they were topped by the Dallas Mavericks, 127-123, but they were able to cover as 6-point underdogs. With 25 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, Lonzo Ball played well for New Orleans. Dallas did a fantastic job of converting from the charity stripe (17-24; 70.8 percent). New Orleans, meanwhile, held the Mavericks to an offensive rebounding percentage of 14.0 (below their season average of 23.7). The two teams collectively scored 250 points, which finished over the O/U total of 240.
This contest should be a showdown of contrasting tempos. New Orleans likes to play up-tempo (second in possessions per game), while Miami is methodical (21st in possessions per game).
Games featuring these teams have typically gone over the projected point total. Miami games have gone over 61.3 percent of the time, while New Orleans games have gone over 56.5 percent of the time. The Heat have the substantial advantage straight up (SU) (40-22 vs. 26-36) and a narrow edge against the spread (ATS) (31-29-2 vs. 29-29-4).
Both teams have had a player heat up over their last five games. For the Heat, it’s been Dragic, who has averaged 18 points,5.8 assists, while the Pelicans have received solid contributions from Ball (12 points,9.2 assists,6.8 rebounds,2.8 steals).
These two teams have already met once this season. The two teams combined to score 203 points in that game, which was well under the projected point total of 226. The Heat won 109-94, covering as 8-point favorites. The Heat dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a free throw rate of 0.148 and a solid offensive rebounding percentage of 27.3. For those same stats, the Pelicans were 0.049 and 16.3, respectively. Bam Adebayo recorded a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Heat vs. Pelicans Prediction
NBA Prediction: SU Winner – Heat, ATS Winner – Heat, O/U – Over
The Heat rank seventh in points allowed in the paint per game (45.1) while the Pelicans rank 28th (53.0).
Miami ranks second in rebounds allowed per game (42.1) while New Orleans ranks 15th (45.1).
New Orleans ranks third in assists per game (27.0) while Miami ranks 20th in assists allowed per game (24.8).
Miami ranks 22nd in points off turnovers allowed per game (17.8) while New Orleans ranks 26th (19.1).
On the road, Miami is 12-18-1 ATS with 17 overs, 13 unders and 1 push.
New Orleans is 14-17 ATS at home with 17 overs and 14 unders.
Miami is 8-1 when they allow under 100 points, while New Orleans is 3-0.
The Pelicans are 26-33 when they score more than 100 points, while the Heat are 39-16.
The Heat rank 13th in steals allowed per game (7.5) while the Pelicans rank 27th (8.4).
Miami ranks second in fast break points allowed per game (11.5) while New Orleans ranks 27th (15.7).
The Pelicans rank third in second chance points per game (14.4) while the Heat rank 26th (11.8).
The Heat rank fifth in blocks allowed per game (4.2) while the Pelicans rank 12th (4.8).
New Orleans ranks sixth in three pointers attempted per game (37.7) while Miami ranks 27th in three pointers allowed per game (37.9).
New Orleans is 1-4 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs in its last five games.
Across its last five games, Miami is 2-3 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
The Pelicans’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 2.8, up from 1.2 for the season.
During their last five games, the Heat have scored an average of 117.8 points per game (5.1 above their season average) and allowed an average of 112.4 points per game (3.2 above their season average).