Looking at the line you could assume that this game should be a quite competitive, but the reality is that momentumwise those two teams are going in different directions and qualitywise there are ~25 NBA teams between those two.
The Hornets had a nice start for the season going 8-7 in first 15 games, but slowly their game and a record has started to drop. They are still 13-17 at the moment, but have a 2-4 record over the last 6 games and still should consider themselves lucky to win those two games. They beat “Ming-less” and very short-handed Houston at their homecourt and in last game put away troubeled Charlotte (playing without Emeka Okafor). Otherwise they have lost to the T`Wolves (by 19 points), Bucks (by 7 points), Spurs (by 27 points) and Mavs (by 5 points). So if taking the game seriously, quality teams don`t have much problems winning the Hornets.
Noone doubts that Miami has a quality NBA team. Their record of 19 wins and 13 losses isn`t anything too spectacular, but things are moving in the right direction. The Heat has been playing without injured O`neal and/or Jason Williams for big part of the season so some losses have been inevitable. With both back in the lineup Miami has gone 4-1 over the last 5 games, losing only game against the league leading Pistons. In the last game against the T`Wolves they were trailing by 3 points at the half, but came back strong and won the game by a massive 27 points. Expect them to try to keep their 2 games winning streak going and dump the Hornets as early as possible.
The Hornets will have a problem almost at every position, but especially at low-post as O`neal and his substitute Mourning will dominate down low for 48 minutes. Overall strengh of the Heat is way better and they seemingly are finding their form lately. Taking straight win should be a safe option here, but we think that the Heat will also cover and beat the Hornets with a comfortable margin so spreadline –6.0 points is our pick with medium+ stakes!
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