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New Orleans Pelicans vs. Miami Heat - 2/27/15 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Miami Heat (25-31) at New Orleans Pelicans (30-27)

NBA Basketball: Friday, February 27, 2015 at 8:00 pm (Smoothie King Center)

The Line: New Orleans Pelicans +1.5 -- Over/Under: 195.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN, SUN

 The New Orleans Pelicans look to win at home without Anthony Davis as they host the Miami Heat on ESPN on Friday night.

The New Orleans Pelicans are 30-27 on the season but although that’s better than things have been for the franchise in recent years, it’s only good enough for ninth in the Western conference.  The West essentially has eight spots to fill with ten teams, and right now the Pelicans and Suns are fighting the Thunder and Spurs for postseason berths.  Anthony Davis hasn’t played in a week, after getting injured playing this same Heat team.  The Pelicans emerged victorious in that meeting, 105-91 as Eric Gordon led all scorers with 24 points.  With starting PG Jrue Holiday and top reserve Ryan Anderson sidelined, the Pelicans need Gordon to produce more consistently on offense, especially given Tyreke Evans’ struggles with three point shooting of late.  The Pelicans are pretty mediocre defensively ranking 15th while allowing 99.4 points per game.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Miami Heat - 2/27/15 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat have a losing record at 25-31 but in the less competitive East that’s good enough for seventh place and a likely trip to the postseason.  The Heat are a respectable 15-15 on the road this season, winning their most recent two against the worst teams in the East after dropping four straight against better competition.  Chris Bosh is out for the season which would normally place a big scoring burden on Dwyane Wade, but the addition of Goran Dragic at point guard lightens that burden.  Dragic is still getting acclimated, but he did break out in an easy game against the Sixers, scoring 23 points and dishing 10 assists in the type of outing he’d like to deliver consistently.  Luol Deng has been hot of late, scoring 50 points over the last two games against poor competition in the Magic and Sixers.  The Heat rank fourth defensively while allowing just 96.7 points per game.

The Heat can definitely compete here and have plenty of incentive to do so with the playoff motivation, but I’ll take a chance on  the home team at a virtual pick ‘em.  I could see this going either way though and with all the injuries it’s probably not the best spot on Friday night.

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New Orleans Pelicans -1.5 (1 unit)

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