Hornets vs Heat Picks and Predictions: Miami Over-whelms Charlotte

Miami might be easing up towards the end of the regular season, but it's still capable of handling this Charlotte squad. Find out why we're counting on buckets with our Hornets vs. Heat picks as these potential first-round foes square off.

Rory Breasail - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Rory Breasail • Betting Analyst
Apr 5, 2022 • 08:42 ET • 4 min read
Bam Adebayo Miami Heat NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

After a brief one-day layoff for the NCAA men’s championship game, NBA action resumes tonight with a potential first-round playoff series preview between the Charlotte Hornets and the Miami Heat.

Both teams are still very much fighting for position in the standings, and the Heat are hoping to add to their four-game winning streak as 5.5-point favorites over the visiting Hornets.

Check out our NBA betting picks and predictions for Hornets vs. Heat on Tuesday, April 5. 

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Hornets vs Heat odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The line for Hornets vs. Heat opened at -5.5 favoring Miami at most books and saw momentary movement to -5. It has since settled at the opening mark of -5.5.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Hornets vs Heat predictions

Predictions made on 4/4/2022 at 11:05 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Hornets vs Heat game info

Location: FTX Arena, Miami, FL
Date: Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Southeast, Bally Sports Sun

Hornets vs Heat betting preview

Key injuries

Hornets: None.
Heat: Jimmy Butler (Questionable), Kyle Lowry (Questionable), PJ Tucker (Questionable).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Heat are 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 games playing on 1 day’s rest. Find more NBA betting trends for Hornets vs. Heat.

Hornets vs Heat picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

With six different Heat players listed as questionable for tonight’s matchup, we might be seeing the Miami Heat letting their foot off the gas pedal just slightly with only three games remaining before the playoffs. Miami currently owns the No. 1 seed in the East by itself, two games ahead of second-place Boston, who will face a difficult closing sled including a motivated Milwaukee Bucks team. The Heat are coming off an impressive win on the road against the Toronto Raptors without Jimmy Butler and a win tonight essentially locks up for the 1-seed in the East.

The Hornets, meanwhile, are coming off a miserable 30-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, but still harbor ambitions of escaping the 9-10 play-in game. To do so, they'll need to pass the suddenly scorching Atlanta Hawks for the 8th spot, and they’ll need every win they can get to make that happen.

This is a classic styles-make-fights kind of matchup, with the Hornets sporting the league's eighth-best offense and the Heat boasting the fourth-best defense. Charlotte loves to run the ball, ranking fourth in overall pace, while the Heat are second to last, preferring to grind down their opponents in the halfcourt. 

The Hornets run an analytics-friendly offense, generating a huge portion of their points on shots at the rim and threes. The Heat will live with Charlotte taking the long ball though, and, in turn, they will deny the Hornets anything easy at the rim. The Heat allow more 3s as a portion of opponent shots than any team in the NBA per Cleaning the Glass, and that’s by design. It allows Bam Adebayo and company to pack the paint and stymy any and all forays to the basket.

The Heat have handily won all three prior meetings this year with an average margin of victory just over 12 points, typically while down one or two of their core players, just as they might be tonight.

Lastly, the Heat are an older team and fresh legs have made them monstrous against the spread this season, going 10-4-1 ATS over their last 15 with a day’s rest. Even if they’re down a few bodies, I like the Heat to cover.

Prediction: Miami -5.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

Over/Under analysis

The Heat put in a spirited performance in Kyle Lowry’s return game against the Toronto Raptors, but their defense has been somewhat suspect over this recent stretch. They’re fourth in defensive efficiency on the year, however, over the last two weeks, their defense would rank just 15th league-wide per Cleaning the Glass.

Charlotte is also one of the team's most prolific transition teams, with transition opportunities making up 16.8% of all their possessions, tied for third in the NBA. The Heat, somewhat surprisingly, allow more opponent transition opportunities than all but five other NBA teams. Although Charlotte's offense hasn’t been up to their usual standard recently, their fall off on defense should more than make up for it. They’ve posted a 118.5 defensive rating over the last two weeks, which would be a Bottom-10 mark. All of this suggests a high-scoring game.

The betting trends also favor the Over, with it hitting in the previous six games the Hornets have played on two days’ rest. Time off typically means a lot of points with this young Charlotte team.

That mutually-shaky defense and the Hornets’ propensity to relentlessly run the ball are why I have the Over tonight.

Prediction: Over 224.5 (-105 at Betway)

Best bet

With six different Miami Heat players listed as questionable, there’s too much uncertainty to rely on a player prop bet. A lack of continuity typically favors the offense, particularly as both these teams rely heavily on the 3-point shot to generate good looks. One blown rotation is all it takes to create a quality shot from deep, and even if it doesn’t drop, long rebounds beget more shots at the basket and even more fast break opportunities.

With the Hornets ready and willing to push the ball and the Heat’s less-than-stellar record defending in transition even at full strength, the Over is the best bet on the board.

Pick: Over 224.5 (-105 at Betway)

NBA parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NBA Hornets vs. Heat predictions and picks in a single-game parlay, you could win $27.27 on a $10 bet?

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