The 2020 Christmas Day NBA schedule tips off with Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans (1-0) traveling to take on Bam Adebayo and the Miami Heat (0-1) at noon ET on Friday. Coming off an Eastern Conference title last year, the Heat dropped their opener 113-107 against the Magic. New Orleans got off to a fast start by knocking off the Raptors 113-99 in its opener.
William Hill Sportsbook lists Miami as a five-point home favorite in this matchup. The over-under, or total number of points expected, is down to 226 after opening at 229 in the Heat vs. Pelicans odds. Before making any Pelicans vs. Heat picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks last season. The model is up nearly $8,100 over the past two seasons. Last year, it went a stunning 61-33 on top-rated picks against the spread, returning almost $2,500 on those selections alone. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Heat vs. Pelicans. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NBA odds from William Hill and trends for Pelicans vs. Heat:
- Heat vs. Pelicans spread: Heat -5
- Heat vs. Pelicans over-under: 226
- Heat vs. Pelicans money line: Heat -200; Pelicans +175
- MIA: Went 52-40 against the spread last season
- NO: Went 35-35 against the spread last season
Why the Heat can cover
Miami didn’t have the opener it was hoping for, but the Heat still bring back the core of a roster that made a deep run last season. Miami needed no more than five games to advance in its first two postseason series and then knocked off the Celtics 4-2 before falling 2-4 against the Lakers in the NBA Finals. Adebayo is one of the NBA’s best two-way big men, and he scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the opener.
Veteran Jimmy Butler averaged just short of 20 points per game last season and is a key cog on the wing. Goran Dragic, Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro are all great options from 3-point range. Oddsmakers regularly underestimated Miami last season as it rolled to the third-best mark (52-40) against the spread during the 2019-20 campaign.
Why the Pelicans can cover
Even so, Miami isn’t a lock to cover the Heat vs. Pelicans spread during Friday’s matchup. With Williamson entering the season healthy, New Orleans has aspirations of making a run this season. He scored 15 points and grabbed 10 board in the season-opening win over Toronto.
Brandon Ingram took a huge step last year and he scored 24 in the opener. Eric Bledsoe joins a backcourt that already has Lonzo Ball and JJ Redick, while Steven Adams offers size and experience in the post.
How to make Heat vs. Pelicans picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total, with five different players projected to score 15 or more points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Pelicans vs. Heat? And which side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Heat vs. Pelicans spread you need to jump on Friday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.