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November 7, 2016

There is one pick tonight.

Take Charlotte Hornets -3 spread against Indiana Pacers for 3% of the bankroll.

Charlotte is almost continuously under-rated. Perhaps it stems from the fact that as 'Bobcats' and not 'Hornets', they used to at times be the worst team in the NBA! Things have really changed over the last few years and yet many still have a poor impression of this club. Steve Clifford has built a legitimate playoff team and one that might just cause a surprise or two. They are a well-balanced squad with the right mix of talent and hardwork. Coach Clifford emphasizes defensive organization and has instilled a winning mentality in Charlotte.

The Pacers are a decent team but they are a work in progress. The departure of Frank Vogel means a new era has begun and one that'll take time to showcase itself. Vogel was not given an extension despite doing a solid job for this franchise in recent years and has since taken his leadership to Orlando. Larry Bird noted that a new voice and philosophy is required in the Pacers locker room but interestingly enough, went on to hand Vogel's assistant, Nate McMillan the top job! Whether that moves pays off or not remains to be seen and is a matter that should be evaluated over the long run. In the short run, however, it can't be benficial. After all, the players were well-versed in Vogel's playing style and particular demands. It'll take some time for them to fit into this altered system and to grow fully comfortable with their unique roles.

Unlike the Pacers, the Hornets are not in transition. They have the same coach as they have in recent years and most of the players from last year's playoff squad also remain. This is largely the same group of individuals that got there and has the ambition to do so again this season. That stability and continuity gives them an early-season edge over teams like Indiana that have undergone big changes in the off-season! We believe Charlotte is a better team at this moment than Indiana and that is evident not only by their 4-1 record but by their performances.

Let's not forget that the Pacers have been toothless on the road this season. They have lost all 3 games away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse and that includes visits to places like Brooklyn and Milwaukee! They are showing signs of adapting to the new style of play but still have a long way to go. The Hornets, meanwhile, have been a force to be reckoned with at home over the last couple of years and have a big home court advantage! Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is one of the best defenders in the league and finally healthy and starting games. Containing Paul George for 4 quarters is nearly impossible but if he can limit his production, Kember Walker and Nicholas Batum should score and create plenty of offense for the hosts to win this game and cover the short spread.

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