Miami Heat at New Orleans Hornets
Friday, 11/5/10, 8:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread: Miami -6
Current Betting Line: Miami -6.5
Opening Total: 186
Current Total: 188
Miami has literally dominated opponents since its opening night loss to the Boston Celtics and tallied a 129-97 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves last time out. The Heat’s 4-1 start matches the best in franchise history through five games and they sit at this record for the second consecutive season. “All of our guys have the right thing in mind,” said head coach Erik Spoelstra. “They’re allowing us to use them as weapons, when we need them, to help the team win.” Miami has won three consecutive games by at least 20 points for the first time since March 1998. Spoelstra stressed defense during the offseason and the club has delivered by giving up just 420 points (84.0 points per game) through the first five games of the season. That number represents the second fewest points the franchise has allowed during that same period of any season. The team is 6-1 ATS as a road favorite of 6.5 to 9 points and the NBA lines page has them right there.
The Heat have won their last four games by an average of 22.8 points and are still not running at an optimum level. Forward Chris Bosh is scoring 11 fewer points and grabbing just 6.4 rebounds per game thus far, following a 2009-10 campaign that saw him post a career-best 24.0 points and 10.8 rebounds. “I don’t care about numbers,” Bosh stated. “The only number I care about is winning.” Miami and New Orleans will meet two times this season and the clubs split last year’s series, 1-1, with each team winning on their home courts. An impressive stat to keep track of is the Heat’s defense currently holding the opposing starting lineup to an average of 36.5 points per game over the current winning streak.
New Orleans has tied the franchise record for their longest undefeated start by winning the first four games of the season and is coming off a 107-99 road win over Houston. The Hornets aggressiveness was the different by getting to the foul line 42 times in comparison to the Rockets’ 18 free throw attempts. “We’ve done some good stuff, but it’s early in the season,” said first-year head coach Monty Williams. “It’s good to start 4-0, but with 78 more games, we’re not going to be a team that allows our record to dictate how we play.” The hot start is even more impressive due to each victory coming against a team with a winning record last season. New Orleans is 4-0 ATS this season and 36-42 ATS as an underdog.
The Hornets are still led by star point guard Chris Paul, who is averaging 21.3 points and nine assists. “We’re a defensive team, we’re still trying to find our identity,” said Paul. “We’re no where near where we want to be.” The starting lineup has received early help from the bench in 2010-11, with the role players outscoring its opponent’s bench in three of the first four games this season, averaging 32.5 points compared to 27.5. New Orleans is also taking care of the ball and giving up just 12.8 points off turnovers, which ranks second in the league.
Bettors will notice that the Heat are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 Friday contests, while the Hornets are 6-0 ATS in their last six games dating back to last season.
Don’t even think about playing Friday’s games until you check out the NBA handicappers at Maddux Sports, who are enjoying an incredible 12-1 run!