Feb 7, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) gestures towards an official against the Washington Wizards during the third quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The Heat visit the new-look Pelicans on Thursday
CJ McCollum will be making his debut for New Orleans
Find the odds, preview, and prediction below
The Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat wrap up a six-game road trip on Thursday as they face the revamped New Orleans Pelicans, who made some serious moves earlier this week. The tip-off is scheduled for 7:30pm ET at the Smoothie King Center.
Miami is currently riding a three-game winning streak and most recently beat the Bradley Beal-less Washington Wizards on Monday, 121-100.
The Pels, meanwhile, are also unbeaten in four contests and convincingly took care of the Houston Rockets on Tuesday evening.
Heat vs Pelicans Odds
New Orleans Pelicans
Odds as of February 9th at FanDuel.
The Heat are a 4-point road favorite here and have covered in three consecutive outings. They also dominated NOLA in their last meeting in November, winning by 15 points in South Beach.
Miami Heat Betting Outlook
Although Miami sits at the top of the East with a 35-20 record, it hasn’t been smooth sailing this season in terms of injuries.
Erik Spoelstra’s squad has dealt with a boatload of absences to key players throughout the campaign, including Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry, and Jimmy Butler.
Jimmy brought DC to its feet with this fast break oop finish. Thanks for the love #HEATNation 🔥@MiamiHEAT // @reeftechnology pic.twitter.com/twh1jnlye4
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) February 8, 2022
Nonetheless, their depth has shined through and held it down, most notably the likes of Tyler Herro, PJ Tucker, Duncan Robinson, and Max Strus.
Thankfully, the main core is all healthy and ready to suit up in New Orleans. Monday’s win in DC proved just how legit this roster really is, with a total of seven players finishing in double-figures. Adebayo led the way with 21 points, while Jimmy Buckets also put up 19.
The clear difference-maker in this contest was Miami’s lights-out shooting from literally everywhere. They went 18-for-32 from three-point land (56%) and also drained 57% of their field goals.
Robinson and Gabe Vincent alone combined for eight triples. Herro, the overwhelming favorite in the 2022 NBA Sixth Man of the Year odds, missed out against the Wizards but his return to the lineup is only going to help their efficiency from beyond the arc even more.
Printable Super Bowl 56 Props Sheet
Pelicans Eyeing a Play-in Spot
After a dreadful 1-12 start to the season, the Pelicans have slowly clawed their way out of the Western Conference gutter.
Even without Zion Williamson, New Orleans is currently in 10th spot with a 22-32 record and they’re on a bit of a roll lately — though their 2022 NBA playoff odds are still quite long.
The Trail Blazers are trading CJ McCollum to the Pelicans in exchange for Josh Hart and draft compensation, per @ShamsCharania pic.twitter.com/LqWYVe2SCK
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 8, 2022
Willie Green’s group just made a big splash Tuesday as well, acquiring CJ McCollum from the Portland Trail Blazers in a blockbuster trade, while sending numerous pieces the other way, including Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Josh Hart.
McCollum, who brings a ton of experience to the table, gives the Pels another cold-blooded scorer who should fit nicely alongside Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas. When Zion returns as well, this team is only going to be that much better.
Ingram was once again the main catalyst against Houston, scoring a team-high 26 points. Jaxson Hayes and Valanciunas also combined for 27 points in the New Orleans frontcourt. While the Pels didn’t shoot the ball well from long range, they bullied the Rockets inside, outscoring them 52-38. With a victory on Thursday, Green’s squad can move to 13-13 at the Smoothie King Center.
Heat vs Pelicans Prediction
Even though McCollum will be making his debut and New Orleans is playing very well lately, I don’t see them beating a team of Miami’s caliber. They’re basically at full strength and have won three straight against the Pelicans.
The Heat will comfortably cover the spread and continue their brilliance.
Pick: Heat -4 (-110)