25 Feb

2024 NBA picks for Feb. 23 by proven model

The New Orleans Pelicans will face off against the Miami Heat in an interconference matchup on Friday. New Orleans is 34-22 overall and 17-10 at home, while Miami is 30-25 overall and 15-12 on the road. The Heat have won six straight meetings against the Pelicans but this is the first time they are meeting this season.

Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET on Friday at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. The Pelicans are 3.5-point favorites in the latest Heat vs. Pelicans odds, according to the SportsLine consensus, and the over/under is 220 points. Before entering any Pelicans vs. Heat picks, you need to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s advanced computer simulation model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters Week 18 of the 2023-24 NBA season on a sizzling 60-36 roll on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning nearly $2,300. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

The model has set its sights on Miami vs. New Orleans. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Heat vs. Pelicans:

Pelicans vs. Heat spread: Pelicans -3.5
Pelicans vs. Heat over/under: 220 points
Pelicans vs. Heat money line: Pelicans: -158, Heat: +133
MIA: The Heat are 5-0 ATS over their last five games
NO: The Pelicans are 16-11 ATS at home this season
Pelicans vs. Heat picks: See picks at SportsLine
What to know about the Heat
The Heat are playing their first game since the All-Star break and are expected to have Jimmy Butler back. The six-time All-Star missed the final three games before the break due to a death in the family. The Heat did win two of those three contests, but they’ll be happy to have one of their leaders back as Butler leads the team in scoring (21.4 points per game) and assists (4.6 per game).

Tyler Herro (questionable, foot) is averaging 21 ppg with Bam Adebayo adding 20.2 points and 10.6 rebounds per contest. Miami has traditionally had one of the best defenses in the NBA yearly, and the 2023-24 season is no exception. The Heat rank fourth in scoring defense (110.4 ppg) while holding opponents to the second-fewest field goal attempts per game. Miami allows the second-fewest offensive rebounds in the league, which is a huge reason it has been effective at keeping opponents off the scoreboard. Terry Rozier (knee) is out for Miami. See which team to pick here.

What to know about the Pelicans
The Pelicans won’t have to worry about any after All-Star break rust as New Orleans defeated the Rockets, 127-105, on Thursday. New Orleans had contributions throughout its lineup with six different players scoring double-digit points, led by 28 points, six rebounds and six assists from CJ McCollum. Zion Williamson added 27 points and nine assists, while Jonas Valanciunas had 20 points and 14 rebounds.

Brandon Ingram (illness) was out Thursday and is questionable for Friday. The 26-year-old small forward ranks second on the team in scoring (21.4 ppg) and leads in assists (5.8 per game). The Pelicans are one of the best ATS teams in the NBA, going 31-24-1 against the number. They have covered the spread in 56.4% of games, which is tied for the third-best clip in the league. New Orleans has the best 3-point defense in the NBA, holding opponents to 34.6% from deep, and that will be tested against shooters such as Herro and Duncan Robinson on Friday. See which team to pick here.

How to make Pelicans vs. Heat picks
The model has simulated Heat vs. Pelicans 10,000 times and the results are in. We can tell you that the model is leaning Over, and it also says one side of the spread hits 60% of the time. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

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