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Following loss of Davis, Pelicans host Heat as big NBA underdogs

Daniel Coyle, American Sports Correspondent | March 22, 2016

New Orleans Pelicans kick off their homestretch on Tuesday without star power forward Anthony Davis, playing host to Miami Heat as 8.5-point favourites in NBA betting with Coral.

Davis has been shut down for the season by Pelicans, and will undergo surgery to repair a shoulder injury that has nagged him for three years, sidelining him for up to five months and keeping him out of this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio.

The loss of Davis is yet another blow to New Orleans, who enter Tuesday night’s Heat vs. Pelicans betting matchup at Smoothie King Center with a dismal 26-43 record, eight games back of Dallas and Houston for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, with just 13 games remaining in their regular season schedule.

Trail Blazers Pelicans Basketball

Pelicans were without Davis in Monday night’s 109-105 win over Los Angeles Clippers, picking up their second straight up victory in their past three as 10-point underdogs at Coral.

It has now been over a month since New Orleans last strung together consecutive wins, going 4-10 SU since, but 4-3 against the spread in seven home contests during that stretch.

Heat (14/1 to win the Eastern Conference) travel to the Big Easy fresh off a morale-boosting 122-101 win over Cleveland on Saturday, topping the Eastern Conference-leading Cavaliers as 4-point home underdogs.

That contest marked Miami’s sixth straight in which the point total played OVER, however Heat have struggled over that stretch, going 3-3 SU, and are just 2-5 ATS in their last seven.

Cavaliers Heat Basketball

Tuesday night marks the second meeting of the season between these two clubs, with Heat taking home a 94-88 win as 4-point home favourites on Christmas Day, ending the Pelicans’ three-game SU and ATS win streak against Miami.

Houston Rockets @ Oklahoma City Thunder (-9.5)

Rockets will be looking to inch ahead of Mavericks in the Western Conference playoff race when they visit Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday as 9.5-point underdogs in NBA betting at Coral.

Houston remains in the hunt despite streaky play that has seen them win just 10 of their previous 23 contests, and have been a brutal bet, failing to cover in four of their last five, and are just 4-8 ATS in their past 12 overall, including a 2-4 ATS record as underdogs.

Thunder ride a four-game SU win streak into their clash with the Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena, and have already clinched top spot in the Northwest Division.

Thunder 76ers Basketball

However, OKC have been spotty at home of late, posting SU losses in four of their past six, and 2-3-1 ATS, contributing to a mediocre 17-17-2 ATS record on home court this season.

Oklahoma City have also struggled against Rockets in recent meetings. Thunder handed Houston a 116-108 defeat on January 29, covering as 8-point home favourites, marking their only win over Rockets in their past six clashes, while going 1-4-1 ATS.

Charlotte Hornets (-6.5) @ Brooklyn Nets

In other NBA betting action at Coral on Tuesday, Charlotte Hornets will look to continue the solid play that has earned them 10 SU wins in their past 12 when they visit Brooklyn Nets as 6.5-point favourites.

Hornets current red-hot 18-5 SU run has lifted them to within a half-game of third place in the Eastern Conference. However, the club continues to lag behind the favourites, pegged at 66/1 to claim the conference crown, and a distant 200/1 to win their first NBA title.

Spurs Hornets Basketball

Nets, meanwhile, return from a fruitless two-game road trip and are 2-8 SU in their past 10 overall, and 2-4 SU in their last six against the Hornets.

Later on Tuesday, Los Angeles Lakers look to end a four-game SU losing streak when they play host to the Memphis Grizzlies as 3.5-point underdogs.

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