Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat NBA Betting Preview

Posted by D.Zamzack on April 16, 2016 in

On Sunday night, the Charlotte Hornets head down to South Beach to take on the Miami Heat in the opener of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. The Hornets were one of the hottest teams in the second half of the season, after a first half that seemed to have them destined for the lottery. The Miami Heat won the Southeast Division on the last night of the regular season, securing the third seed, although they will enter the postseason without one of their cornerstones in Chris Bosh.

 Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat NBA Betting Preview

When: Sunday, April 17, 2016, 5:30pm ET
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
Live Stream: ESPN Scoreboard
NBA Odds: Miami -4

The Heat and Hornets split the four games they played this season, each winning and losing once apiece on their home court. Both teams closed the season holding a 48-34 record, but Miami won the Southeast Division based on the tiebreaker. The Heat was 10-6 in the division, the Hornets 8-8.

Why should you bet on the Heat?

Miami has been terrific at home lately, going 6-0 both straight up and against the spread in their last three games at American Airlines Arena. Their specialty is a smothering defense that only permits 98.4 points per game and 44.2% shooting from the floor, both elite numbers in the NBA this season. Charlotte scores a lot of points, but they rely heavily on perimeter shooting, as their only inside threat is Al Jefferson. This is why the Hornets only scored 37.6 points in the paint per game this year, good for 29th of 30 teams. The fact that Hassan Whiteside is roaming the paint for the Heat means that Charlotte will find a lot of their shots altered – or simply swatted into the stands.


Why should you put your money on Charlotte?

Although the Heat did clinch the division on the last day of the regular season, it was because of an Atlanta loss, not a Miami win. In fact, Miami blew a 26-point lead to lose to Boston, 98-88. The Hornets come into the playoffs feeling like they have nothing to lose, since the franchise has not won a playoff series in 14 years. The two teams split four games in the regular season series, although Charlotte won their last meeting on March 17, coming from behind to secure a 109-106 victory. In that game, Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker each scored 21 points, and the Hornets drained 13 shots from downtown, slightly above their average of 10.6 per game on the season.


Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

Without Chris Bosh, I think the Heat will continue to suffer a little on the inside, giving Al Jefferson some room to grab some offensive boards. I also think the Hornets will light up the scoreboard from the outside. I’m predicting a 109-105 Charlotte win.