Pelicans vs. Heat Friday Prediction
The first game of the NBA’s all-day Christmas slate will tip-off at 12:00 p.m. ET when the Miami Heat host the New Orleans Pelicans on ESPN. After the total opened at 229 points but dropped to 223.5, is the under the sharp play in this matchup?
577 New Orleans Pelicans (+3.5) at 578 Miami Heat (-3.5); o/u 223.5
11:00 p.m. ET, Friday, December 25, 2020
Venue: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
New Orleans Pelicans DFS Spin
Zion Williamson played 30 minutes in the Pelicans' opener on Wednesday, scoring 15 points with 10 rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block. Williamson shot 7-of-9 from the field, but he also went 1-of-4 at the line and committed six turnovers. Head coach Stan Van Gundy has shortened rotations compared to last season, and he's been intentionally feeding more minutes to Zion. "With Zion, we've really pushed [his playing time]," Van Gundy said. "We've left him out there at times when we knew damn well he was tired. But how are we going to get him to handle that 33-, 34-minute workload on a nightly basis if we don't do it?" If the Pels' training staff isn't worried about Zion's minutes, fantasy GMs shouldn't be either.
Miami Heat DFS Spin
Goran Dragic came off the bench for 20 points, seven assists, four rebounds, one 3-pointer, one steal and one turnover in 26 minutes on Wednesday. Dragic was the first guy off the bench today, and while he started through Miami's Finals' run, it looks like he'll be in a sixth man role this season in order to preserve him for the postseason. Still, he looked good tonight, and as long as he can stay healthy, he should do enough with the points and dimes to warrant a roster spot. For what it's worth, he said after the game that his foot felt fine, but his wind was a bit of an issue in the first game of the regular-season, which is to be expected.
Pelicans vs. Heat Betting Prediction
The under is a perfect 4-0 in the last four meetings between these two teams and has cashed in four of the last five series meetings in Miami. Dating back to last year, the under is also 7-3 in the Pelicans’ last 10 games as an underdog, is 4-1 in their last five games coming off a win and is 9-2 in their last 11 games overall. On the other side, the under has cashed in five of the Heat’s last seven games as a favorite and is 11-5 in their last 16 games when taking on a team with a winning record.
NBA BETTING PREDICTION: PELICANS/HEAT UNDER 223.5