The National Basketball Association has five games scheduled on Christmas Day and the slate is filled with juicy matchups. The Miami Heat will host the New Orleans Pelicans in the second game of the day in what should be a great matchup.
New Orleans picked up a 113-99 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night, and the Pelicans looked impressive in doing so. The Miami Heat suffered a 113-107 loss to the Orlando Magic in their first game, but they will head home for this meeting and look to get things back on track.
New Orleans Pelicans Betting Preview: Youngsters Leading the Way
The New Orleans Pelicans have had some rough seasons of late, but the team has also been stockpiling young talent. That talent was on display on Wednesday night, and this will be a chance for young stars to impress on Christmas Day.
Forward Brandon Ingram had 24 points and 11 rebounds in the season opener, and he continues to prove he is one of the best players in the league. Zion Williamson is off his minutes restrictions and he is always a threat to attack the rim.
The Pelicans were a bad defensive team a season ago, but they gave up just 99 points on Wednesday. Defense will likely be a huge key for New Orleans in this game, and all season long.
Miami Heat Betting Preview: Heat Looking to Defend
The Miami Heat are looking to win games with their defense, and they are also looking to defend their Eastern Conference title. The Heat struggled at times on defense in the season opener, and that will be a focus on Christmas Day.
Center Bam Adebayo was the best offensive player for the Heat on Wednesday night, totaling 25 points. The Heat are a very deep team, and that depth will need to show up if they want to pick up their first win.
Miami had five different players score at least 13 points in the season opener, but the bench struggled at times. Look for forward Jimmy Butler to be huge in this game after scoring just 19 points in the loss on Wednesday.
Pelicans vs. Heat Betting Odds & Lines
Even though the Miami Heat suffered a loss in the season opener, they are expected to be a much better team than the New Orleans Pelicans. Playing at home also gives the Heat an extra advantage, but the New Orleans Pelicans will provide a tough test.
BetOnline has the Miami Heat as five-point favorites over the New Orleans Pelicans on Christmas Day.
Free Betting Pick
The Miami Heat are one of the top defensive teams in the NBA and they will make life difficult for Ingram and Williamson in this game. Miami is still looking for some more offense, but that shouldn’t be a problem in this game.
New Orleans should have a great season, but they just don’t have enough depth to keep up with the Heat on Christmas Day. Miami will pull away late and they will earn their first victory of the season in this matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Spooky Express Free Pick: Miami Heat -5.0