I’ve been running bad lately with my NBA picks. I’m still 17-10 on the young season, but I’ve dropped four straight and five of my last six. In my defense, the Rockets hosed me pretty good and the Lakers and Spurs both ate two of the ugliest blowout losses of the year.
I don’t think the picks have been bad from a logical or data-driven perspective. They’ve just come at the worst time possible.
Fortunately I took a break from the NBA betting scene on Thursday, as there were only three games to pick from anyways. Sometimes that mental refresh is good for the pocket book as well as the mind.
Hopefully we can get back on a winning path and tonight I think there should be some value worth targeting on a huge 11-game basketball betting slate. My favorite game goes down in South Beach, where a mangled Miami team welcomes the Pelicans to town:
New Orleans Pelicans (-3, -110) @ Miami Heat (+3, -110) Total: 230.5 (-112/-108)
Miami is that rare home underdog, but they’re just 3-8 in front of the home crowd this year and they clearly miss Goran Dragic. Tyler Johnson has been missing games as well, so while Miami has the depth to make up for it in bodies, the team’s ability to close out wins has suffered.
The Heat haven’t been able to take advantage of Vegas betting against them at home yet (0-2 ATS) and right now they’re stuck in a rough stretch (lost two in a row, 2-8 in last 10). You can keep going back to their depth and the fact that they’re at home, but this isn’t a great spread for them and the Pels are the better team.
New Orleans is of course dealing with their own health concerns, as Elfrid Payton has missed a ton of time this year and won’t suit up tonight.
It’d be a wash if the Pelicans didn’t have a superstar in Anthony Davis to rely on, while star scorers Jrue Holiday and Nikola Mirotic also give the Pels an offensive boost. Julius Randle can explode off the bench, too, so whether you’re looking at the starting five or the bench, New Orleans appears to have a clear edge here.
Neither of these teams do you any favors against the spread. New Orleans is just 10-12 ATS as a whole this year, while Miami is 8-12.
If Dragic was active tonight I might give Miami a chance to win here. New Orleans is an ugly 2-9 on the road and this is a pretty tight spread. While I tend to favor the Pels to win and cover, I think the best bet may be targeting the Over.
The Pels admittedly doesn’t play much defense (25th in defensive efficiency) and that could open the door to Miami beating the spread or pushing for the Over. Both of these teams are inside the top-10 in pace, too, while they’ve been quite effective at hitting the Over (14-8 and 13-7, respectively).
Yes, this 230.5 Total is obscene, but this is today’s NBA.
If Miami have a shot at beating this spread or winning this game, they’re going to need to put up points. I’m anticipating a shootout and wouldn’t be that shocked if this one went into overtime, either.
I’ll take the Pels across the board, but the best bet in this one is the Over at a solid -112 price.