The Cats could be getting healthier tonight with the potential return of Kemba Walker, and if that does indeed happen, Charlotte will make for a great NBA pick.
Cats can fly; under radar
Charlotte is one of those teams that everyone in the public writes off and fades. However that has been why several others and myself have made money on the Bobcats this season. Charlotte has been one of the most undervalued teams in the NBA, with the exception of a few like the Suns or Pacers. Tonight if they are able to get Walker back into the lineup, they not only have a chance at covering, but they might be the play of the evening as they are listed as the moneyline underdog amongst online sportsbooks.
Walker is worth at least one or two points in this current spread, and with him and Al Jefferson for the Cats tonight, it could be an easy one for Charlotte. The Cats are 13-7-2 ATS this season as a road underdog.
Walker practiced yesterday and reportedly felt good afterwards. It has been a little less than two weeks since he originally sprained his ankle against the Heat, and if he is back close to 100%, the Lakers stand no chance against Charlotte tonight. The Lakers are already dead last in the NBA in defending centers, so once again I expect Jefferson to have a great game. Even if Walker plays and doesn’t play his normal slate of minutes, Ramon Sessions has been filling in nicely for Walker in his absence, and will also likely have success against the imaginary Laker-defense.
The Sharp Pick
The Cats have been very good in their history against the Lakers at Staples Center, as Charlotte is 7-1 ATS in their last eight trips to Southern California. The Lakers have also not been great at home recently. LA is 1-6 SU in their last seven home games, and even though they are favored in the NBA odds tonight, I doubt they can cover against this good defensive team.
With no size to combat Jefferson, and with little more than a lot of jump shooters on their roster, the Lakers will be no match for the Cats. As long as Charlotte doesn’t fall into the trap of trying to run with the Lakers, they should win an ugly and grind it out game against LA.
The Cats defend the wing very well and I like the matchup they present against Nick Young and Jodie Meeks. If they are bottled up, and the Lakers don’t get any second chances, it could easily be an eight or nine point win for the Cats tonight if Walker plays. Kemba’s presence breaking down the defense and getting into the lane will surely give the Cats even more of an advantage, and even though it might not be the prettiest or most glamorous game tonight, it could have more value than any if Walker is back to his old tricks.
My Pick: Bobcats +2