The Brooklyn Nets are finally right where they are supposed to be atop the Eastern Conference standings, albeit by a very slim half-game margin. They’ve won five of their past six games, for most of which they didn’t even have the services of two of their top three guns. While Kevin Durant remains out, Kyrie Irving is back from a short absence and hasn’t skipped a beat since his return. On Thursday they face a tough test in the Hornets, however.
Free Picks: Brooklyn Nets vs. Charlotte Hornets
Nets Look For Win Against Hornets To Stay Atop East (Season Betting Record: 71-80)
The Hornets have also been on a little roll themselves since rookie phenom LaMelo Ball went down, winning four of their past five straight up while taking all five against the spread. Their loss during that stretch was an impressive overtime defeat to one of the best teams in the league in the Phoenix Suns.
Charlotte can also take heart in the knowledge that they beat the Nets in the last meeting between the sides back in late December. This Nets team has obviously gone through quite the makeover since then, but the confidence should still be there for Michael Jordan’s club.
While Brooklyn has been on a tear lately, they haven’t exactly been blessing their spread bettors, dropping seven of their past nine contests ATS despite winning seven games SU during that span. The Nets have also really struggled as a big-time favorite, going just 6-19 ATS as a favorite of five or more points this season, including an 0-5 ATS mark in the last five such games.
The Hornets, for their part, are 12-9 as a dog of five or more points and have generally been a solid underdog team this season, going 18-14-1 ATS when they’re not favored, good for ninth in the NBA. A lot of guys in Charlotte play with a chip on their shoulder, not least of which is their emerging leader, ‘Scary’ Terry Rozier, who we’d expect to have a field day against Brooklyn’s much-improved but still bottom-tier defense.
Those chip-laden shoulders would explain the young, upstart Hornets’ proclivity for playing as the underdog team being counted out for the W. With a spread as big as +8.5, we like the Hornets’ chances to cover at lovely -118 NBA odds as one of our best bets for today and our top pick for this particular Thursday night clash.
Brooklyn has been especially bad against the lesser Eastern Conference, which is another reason we love Charlotte in this spot. While the Nets always show out against the beasts of the West, putting up an impressive 14-6 ATS mark against Western Conference foes, they have been far less reliable against lesser teams, as evidenced by their 9-18 ATS mark in conference games, which is dead last in the association.
In fact, of that 6-19 ATS mark in games as a 5+ point favorite, only six have come against the West, and with those removed, the mark drops to a ghastly 2-17 ATS mark in those situations. No matter how good the Nets are, we simply cannot abide numbers like that, which made this NBA pick relatively easy.
And this is all before mentioning that Charlotte’s 14-7-1 ATS mark against their own conference is the best success rate of any Eastern Conference team, which lines up pretty neatly with Brooklyn’s East Coast struggles.
- Brooklyn is 0-5 ATS in their last five as a favorite of 5+
- Charlotte is 14-7-1 ATS against the Eastern Conference this season
- Brooklyn is 13-19 ATS as the favorite this season
- Charlotte is 3-0 ATS in their last three road games
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The Los Angeles Clippers will renew hostilities with the Dallas Mavericks, who they dispatched in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets and the league’s presumptive NBA MVP will look to get off to a strong start against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1.
The Golden State Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the final play-in game, which will determine the Western Conference’s eighth seed.
The Washington Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.