The Miami Heat will target their second straight victory when they host the Charlotte Hornets in a Southeast division battle Saturday night from the American Airlines Arena. The Hornets opened their season with a 113-112 home loss to the Bucks, and they play in Orlando on Friday night, while the Heat tallied a 113-112 road win over the Wizards on Thursday night. The Heat defeated the Hornets in all four meetings last season.
Kemba Walker Attempts to Lead Hornets to Playoffs
The Charlotte Hornets will be an interesting team to watch this season. They feature no shortage of talent which includes Kemba Walker and young guns such as Malik Monk and Miles Bridges. Kemba Walker was spectacular in the Hornets 113-112 season-opening defeat against Milwaukee, accumulating 41 points on 51.7% shooting. The 28-year old point guard has averaged over 20 points in three consecutive seasons, including 22.1 points per game last year. Walker was sharp against the Heat last season, posting an average of 25.7 points. Jeremy Lamb is a key cog to the Hornets offense. The 26-year old shooting guard finished third in team scoring with 12.9 points last season, and he tallied 10 points in Wednesday’s defeat. Lamb averaged 10.3 points in four games against Miami last year.
⭐️Opening Night for the Captain ⭐️@KembaWalker’s 41pts are the most EVER scored by a Charlotte player on opening night (prev: 38, Dell Curry, 11/2/96)
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) October 18, 2018
Charlotte is hoping Malik Monk can take a leap forward this season. The 2017 11th overall draft pick only averaged 6.7 points on 36% shooting last season, and he started his season strong with an 18 point effort on Wednesday. While the Hornets have the talent, they have yet to prove they can take their game to the next level, and a playoff berth could be a difficult task to achieve. Last season the Hornets averaged a solid 108.2 points, good for 10th in the NBA. They conceded an average of 108 points, positioning them 19th overall.
Richardson Shines in Miami’s First Win of Season
The Miami Heat rebounded from a tough season-opening loss to the Magic by recording a hard-fought 113-112 road win over the Wizards on Thursday night. Josh Richardson played a big role in the victory, netting 28 points on a 5 for 11 mark from beyond the arc. The 25-year old small forward often flies under the radar, however he is a key player. The 25-year old small forward averaged a career-high 12.9 points in 82 games last season, and he is off to a productive start this year, scoring a combined 49 points in the first two games of the season. Goran Dragic was awful in the Thursday’s win, sinking only 3 of 18 field goal attempts for eight points to go with eight assists. The 32-year old point guard is the heart and soul of this Heat team, and he was sharp in the season opener, netting 26 points on 9 for 14 shooting. Dragic only averaged 6.7 points in three games against the Hornets last season.
A career high 17 points, 5 rebounds and the game-sealing steal was all in the night's work vs the Wizards for @TheRea1DJones
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 19, 2018
Hassan Whiteside only scored six points along with seven boards in Thursday’s win after collecting 12 points and eight boards in the season opener. The Heat have a nice mix of young talent and experience which includes Dwayne Wade, and they should be able to reach the playoffs. Dion Waiters is questionable for this contest with an ankle injury. Miami is averaging 107 points through two games. They have allowed an average of 108 points.
The Miami Heat are:
- 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games against the Hornets.
- 9-4-2 ATS in their last 15 games against the Southeast division.
The Charlotte Hornets are:
- 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 games playing on zero days of rest.
- 8-20-1 ATS in their last 29 Saturday games.
- 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Miami.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am siding with the Heat in this one. The Heat defeated the Hornets in all four meetings last season, and they held Charlotte to an average of only 98.5 points in those four games. Furthermore, Charlotte is playing the second game of a back-to-back set, and last season they went 5-9 with an average of only 103.1 points when playing on zero days of rest. In addition, while a small sample size, the Heat have rebounded exceptionally well in two games, averaging 53.5 rebounds.
Prediction: Miami Heat
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is a solid play in this matchup. The Heat are a strong defensive team and they limited the Hornets to a 42% shooting efficiency in their four meetings last season, plus the under is 10-3 in Miami’s last 13 games against Charlotte. Furthermore, the Heat are not a high-scoring team, and they are only shooting 39.2% from the field through two games, plus the under is 5-1 in their last six home games against the Hornets.
Full-Game Prop Bet
I am taking the over on the Miami team total. The Heat were very efficient against the Hornets last year. They posted a stellar 48% clip from the field in their four games against the Hornets, and they shot a stellar 38.3% from three-point territory, plus they also out-rebounded Charlotte. Miami was able to score 113 points in Washington on Thursday, and I anticipate a productive performance in this one.
Prediction: MiamI Team Total: Over
Half-Time Total Bet
The under on the halftime total is a solid option. Neither team has stood out offensively in the first half through two games. The Hornets are only averaging 52.5 points in the first half through two games, and the Heat have scored an average of 54.5 points in two games. I expect a low-scoring contest from start to finish.
Prediction: Under 107.5