NBA Odds & Predictions

NBA Friday Night pick: Hornets vs. Heat Prediction

Jessica Gridiron
Charlotte Hornets v Brooklyn Nets
Charlotte Hornets v Brooklyn Nets / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

Two playoff-hopeful teams face off in tonight's Friday Night NBA matchup. The upstart Charlotte Hornets head to South Beach to take on the defensive-minded Miami Heat. In this prediction, let's dive into a Hornets spread vs. Heat pick and determine the best bet for this Eastern Conference showdown.

NBA Friday Night pick: Hornets vs. Heat Prediction

The Hornets rely on a combination of young talent and savvy veterans, while the Heat primarily focuses on veteran contribution. The Hornets run the 5th fastest pace in the league, and they'll be facing the No. 1-ranked defense in the NBA.

All Fly

LaMelo Bell is taking the league by storm. The combination of his 6'7" size, basketball IQ, and playmaking ability make him an unstoppable threat on the court. Bell will need every aspect of his floor general skillset to crack the Miami defense tonight. He has plenty of playmakers to assist him at FTX Arena to accomplish this feat.

Charlotte has the best offensive rating per 100 possessions this season and the league's fourth-highest True Shooting Percentage (TS%). The Hornets rank in the top 10 in each of the offensive Four Factors besides FT/FGA. On defense, both teams sit near each other in nearly every Four Factor category besides Effective Field Goal percentage (eFG%), where Miami has a massive advantage (2nd vs. 28th) overall.

South Beach Sunset

It's no shock that once again, the Heat are one of the best defensive units in the league. They pride themselves on suffocating defense and use it as a catalyst to shut down the best offenses in the NBA. They are holding opponents to a league-best 39.2% shooting this season and just finished limiting the Brooklyn Nets to 93 points.

The issue with Miami comes down to their offensive output. They are 24th in eFG%, take the 5th fewest three-point attempts per game, and have the third-worst 3-point field goal percentage. Only three players on the Heat are averaging double-digit points per game. Considering Charlotte is not a pushover regarding defense, the Hornets could gain an early lead in this game and secure another road victory this season in Miami.

Hornets vs. Heat prediction and pick

Traditionally I would lean toward the defense in a matchup like this, but Charlotte can play defense themselves. The lack of offensive firepower makes this matchup swing in the Hornets' favor as Ball can use his elite vision to expose holes within the No. 1 ranked defense in the league. Give me the points (Hornets +6.5 at the FanDuel Sportsbook) in this NBA Friday Night matchup with Charlotte potentially leaving Miami as an outright winner.