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January 13, 2017

There is one NBA pick tonight.

Take Charlotte Hornets -4 spread against Philadelphia 76ers for 3% of the bankroll.

The Hornets are the much better team and are likely to cover the spread on their way to a 'W' given the short line. The only reason this spread is as small as it is, is the fact that the 76ers have been playing well of late. They've actually won 4 of their last 5 games which has been an extreme rarity over the last few years and something we don't see continuing. They may not be the NBA's worst team anymore but this is still very much a rebuilding squad and one that is likely to rest on its laurels tonight. They have developped some bad habits over the last couple of years and 'losing' is one of them. After what has been an uncharacteristically hot recent stretch, we see them coming back down to earth in this matchup.

Let's not forget that Charlotte has absolutely dominated Philadelphia in recent seasons and covered even double-digit spreads against them! Brett Brown's squad has made some improvements but still finds itself a long way away from what coach Clifford has built in North Carolina. Steve Clifford demands defensive intensity from his team and normally gets it. Offensively, talented players like Kemba Walker and Nicholas Batum carry them on most nights as this is a team that shares the ball well and plays as a unit. Batum missed the last two games due to an injury but it's not been a lengthy layoff for him. We expect him to be back in the starting lineup tonight and create matchup problems for the Philly defense.

The 76ers are in a 'let-down' spot this evening thanks to coming off a game-winning buzzerbeater by point-guard TJ McConnell. The young PG's late bucket turned what would have been a 1-point loss to the Knicks to a 1-point victory as he and teammates celebrated it like they've won the championship! It was a joyful moment for them but one that might just linger in their memories a little longer than it should. Philadelphia has no realistic playoff aspirations this season and might just be content with its recent run, the opposite is true for the visiting side. That's because unlike their opponents, Charlotte is in bounce-back mode and knows the importance of securing a 'W' in Philadelphia. They are winless on their current road trip and know this is their best chance to snap the losing streak!

Another factor that gives the favorites the edge tonight is the fact that they are solely focused on the task at hand and have no other games to prepare for until Jan 16th. Beating the 76ers and getting out of their current funk will be the only objective. The 76ers, on the other hand, have to navigate heading into a back-to-back schedule. They host Charlotte tonight before flying to Washington tomorrow! With two games in just over 24 hours to prepare for and focus on, it wouldn't surprise us if they threw in the towel and rested key players down the stretch if they are trailing by a big margin. They're also not as well rested as the visitors since the Hornets haven't played since Jan 10th, three days ago. Charlotte is not only the better team but enjoys numerous intangible edges which should see them cover this reasonable pointspread. Back them at this cheap price knowing they are 8-3 ATS (against-the-spread) as a road favorite of 3.5 to 6 points over the last three seasons.

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