Friday Free Play: Heat-Pelicans Under 214 1/2

On February 23, 2018, in Free Picks, NBA, by Stephen

Heat at Pelicans Under 214 1/2

Seeing a total this high on a Miami Heat game is a new experience. Only once since Dec. 6 have the Heat had a higher total.

Of course the key question is this over/under number justified being this high for a Miami game?

I say no fully realizing the Pelicans are the fourth-highest scoring team in the NBA and second-worst defensive club. They have been playing at the fastest tempo, too, of any team during the last five games before the All-Star break.

Despite this, I’m expecting a much lower-scoring game than the oddsmaker anticipates. Both teams figure to be rusty and defensive-minded following a nine-day break.

The Heat are nearly the opposite of New Orleans ranking third in fewest points per game giving up 101.4 and 28th in scoring averaging 100.5. Miami is in stop-the-pain mode having lost seven of its last eight games, including five in a row on the road.

Miami is well-coached. The Heat aren’t going to get caught up in a fast tempo game with the Pelicans. It’s not a fluke that 13 of their last 18 games versus Western Conference opponents has gone Under. Hassan Whiteside may be the best rim protector in the Eastern Conference. The Pelicans aren’t going to get easy baskets inside.

I’m expecting the Pelicans’ scoring to go down and their defense to be improved with the addition of defensive-minded center Emeka Okafor and the season-ending injury to DeMarcus Cousins. No Cousins also means less technical foul shots for the opposition.

I am 29-16-1 on my last 46 premium/free NBA plays, including 12-5-1 on my 18. I am 13-6 on my last 19 premium/free NHL plays. If you’re interested in my sports service please email me.


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