Game: Charlotte Hornets @ Miami Heat
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds: Hornets +5.5, Heat -5.5
Charlotte travels to Miami tonight looking to salvage something. They have lost two of their last three games after a nice run of six wins in seven games. The Hornets have also not beaten the Heat this season in three tries and playing in Miami hasn’t been much fun for Charlotte. In their last 20 trips to Miami, the Hornets have just six wins.
The Heat still don’t have the No. 1 seed in the East wrapped up yet. A recent four-game slide has been followed up with a four-game winning streak. Miami just finished a three-game road trip with wins over Boston, Chicago, and Toronto. Those are all potential Heat playoff opponents.
Miami’s defense has been superb, holding its last four opponents to 104 points per game. The Heat is third in the league in scoring defense holding teams to an average of 105.1 points per game. In the three games Miami has played against Charlotte thus far this season, the Heat has held the Hornets to just 97.3 points per game.
Getting Gordon Hayward back in the lineup was supposed to help Charlotte in its playoff push. With Hayward back, Charlotte did score 114 points, which is right around their season average, but the Hornets gave up 144 points to Philadelphia in a loss on Saturday. In fact, Charlotte has struggled all season on defense. They rank 26th in points allowed per game this season (114.8 ppg).
With its three road wins over Eastern Conference foes, Miami is now 13-4 SU in games against teams from the East. The Heat also have the second-best home record in the conference. Miami has won 27 of 39 home games this season.
While they have been winning at home, the Heat are just 1-6 ATS in their last seven home games. Overall, Miami is 1-4 ATS in its last five games. In the last ten games against Charlotte, Miami is 6-3-1 ATS and 2-0-1 ATS in the three games played this season.
Charlotte has been doing well against the number recently, especially on the road. The Hornets have won eight of their last 11 games and they are 7-4 ATS in those games. In their last six road games, Charlotte is 5-1 ATS.
Miami has the second-highest Over percentage in the NBA (59%). Their O/U record for the season is 46-32-1. The Heat’s defense will be tested tonight. Miami ranks fifth in defensive efficiency and they give up 105.9 points per 100 possessions.
Charlotte plays at the fourth-fastest pace in the league and they rank fifth in scoring (114.8 ppg). Tonight’s total of 225.5 is much higher than what these two teams normally score when playing each other. Over the last ten games in the series, Miami and Charlotte have combined to score an average of 208.5 points per game. Remember, Miami held the Hornets under 100 points twice this season. All three games this season have gone Under the posted total.