The Charlotte Hornets have been one of—if not THE—most exciting team to watch in the NBA this season, not just because of their adrenaline-pumping style of play and intriguing young talent, but because they’ve actually meshed into a solid, winning unit that is likely to slot into the weak Eastern Conference’s playoffs. They’ve been on a roll lately, but can it continue unimpeded? We’re not so sure.
Free Picks: Denver Nuggets vs. Charlotte Hornets
Nuggets Look To Put Young, Streaking Hornets In Their Place (Season Betting Record: 61-67)
We think the Hornets will continue to play well down the stretch and ultimately squeak into the East playoffs, but what they have to deal with on Wednesday is much different than what they’ll be getting on the East Coast. The youngsters will head into the Rockies to take on the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena and get a little more of a taste of what it’s like on the West coast.
While the Hornets have won four straight and seven of their past 10, the Nuggets have also won six of their past seven and seven of their past nine, so they’re not coming into Denver’s house any hotter than their hosts. If anything, a four-game winning streak for a young team like the Hornets is worrisome because of how inconsistent youthful squads can be.
The Hornets have covered in three of their past four and their past two straight, but they haven’t had three straight ATS wins in over a month. Charlotte has also struggled against the West’s big dogs, going 2-5 ATS this season against the current top eight teams in that conference.
Denver has also upped it’s shooting efficiency from deep recently, hitting triples at a 40.9 percent clip over the past month, the second-highest mark in the league. Conversely, the Hornets have struggled to defend the three-point line over the past 30 days, allowing an NBA-high 15.4 threes per game on 38.4 percent shooting (t-sixth highest).
Charlotte has been a great ATS team this season, but they’ve gone just 9-9 ATS against the West this year (they’re 12-7-1 against the East), while one of the poorest ATS teams in the NBA, the Nuggets, has gone a decent 8-7 against the East. More often than not, the West is too much for the East, and that should be the case on Wednesday night at Ball Arena too.
The fact that the Hornets don’t have much in terms of big men to counter Denver’s Nikola Jokic, instead relying on wing and backcourt players for most of their production, is another reason we like the Nuggets at -5.5 points and -128 NBA odds as one of our best bets for today.
For our second NBA pick concerning this inter-conference clash, we just had to go with the over on the game’s 229.5 point total at -123 odds. We like this one as one of our top picks because of a couple of very persuasive trends for Charlotte: the over is 12-3 when they’re a road underdog, and 14-4 when they’re the away team overall.
Those numbers are tough to argue with, and the Nuggets have hit the over 24 times this year themselves, which is the fourth highest total in the NBA. 18 of 26 Denver games played on one days rest have gone over the total and you can say the same for 14 of the 19 games the Nuggets have played on equal rest as their opponents.
- Charlotte is 2-5 ATS this season against the current top 8 in the West
- Denver is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games
- Charlotte is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in Denver
- The over is 12-3 when Charlotte is a road underdog
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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.