February 25, 2018
There is one NBA pick today.
Take Charlotte Hornets -4 spread against Detroit Pistons for 3% of the bankroll.
The Hornets have been playing well recently and are rouding into form. They know they are out on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs are concerned but unlike all the teams below them in the standings, they're not yet out of it. This is a squad that is still capable of making it to the post-season but they need to put together a strong winning streak and they seem to be on the verge of doing so. They've won 3 straight games and have come out of the All-Star break with renewed energy and focus. They pulled away from the Nets on Thursday before dismantling the Wizards in Washington the following night! It was an impressive back-to-back effort from them and it has them finally dreaming again. For much of the season, they've been too far behind the other top 8 teams in the Eastern conference to actually think they have a legitimate chance. They still are a long way behind but let's just say their slim chances are now 'average' chances and looking more like a possibility. They are suddenly just 4 games behind in the loss column from the current 8th seed and with 20 games or so still remaining, they know they can make up ground if they play well.
One of the teams Charlotte finds in its way as it hopes to climb the standings is today's opponent, the Detroit Pistons. They are only 2.5 games behind Detroit and can make up a full game with a victory on Sunday! We expect them to get the better of the visitors and keep their hot streak going as they're currently firing on all cylinders and playing with lot a confidence. They will ultimatley perhaps fall short of their quest to make the playoffs but we believe Steve Clifford's team will put some pressure on the teams above them in the standings and not let them breath easily.
As for the Pistons, they struggled going into the All-Star break and haven't showed improvement coming out of it. The trade for Blake Griffin may have sounded good on paper but after a temporary boost in performances, it has since not paid dividends. The Pistons have lost 4 of their last 5 games and are still trying to find their identity. They have holes on both sides of the ball and the continued absence of starting PG Reggie Jackson has them at less than 100%. The loss of Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley shouldn't be underestimated either because those two veterans while not household names are hardworking talented individuals that departed in the Griffin trade. This is a team that has some talent but doesn't always operate cohesively as a unit and some of the players don't seem to respond to Stan van Gundy's coaching as well as they should.
All in all, we believe the Hornets are the better team right now and more likely to win this matchup. And if they do so, we believe covering this relatively short spread won't be a problem. Keep in mind that both of these teams tend to play much better at home than on the road and that gives the hosts a big advantage today. The Hornets have a winning record in Charlotte while the Pistons are only 9-17 on the road! We believe they'll suffer one more defeat away from the Motor City giving them an ugly 9-18 record away from their new arena, meaning they will have lost twice as many games out of Detroit as they've won! A road record that poor is not a sign of a true playoff team and shows the difference between them and a team like Miami Heat, the current 8th seed in the Eastern conference who are playing .500 basketball even away from home! Neither of these two squads might make the playoffs but we believe Charlotte is the more stable organization and has its players on the same wavelength going into this game. Look for them to pull away and cover the spread especially since Detroit has another game in Toronto tomorrow to think about and keep players fresh for.
Other notable facts to consider:
- Pistons are just 1-8 ATS in the second half of the season!
- Hornets are 20-11 as a favorite this season and 13-8 against teams with a losing record.
- Pistons have yet to cover the spread in the second half of the season against teams with losing records!
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