The Charlotte Hornets are one of the streakiest teams this season; at the moment they're hot, with five wins in a row both straight up and against the spread. Do we play them to stay hot when they host the defending league champion San Antonio Spurs Wednesday night? Or should we play the fade?
Spurs-Hornets Betting Odds
As of early Wednesday morning the NBA Odds were waiting to line this game, because San Antonio has been known to rest its veterans in spots, and might do so tonight, having played last night in Washington. Bettors might want to wait until closer to tip-off before getting down on this game.
Charlotte owns a five-game winning streak, after winning at Toronto last Thursday 103-95 and at New York last Saturday 110-82. Just before that, the Hornets had lost five in a row; just before that, they had won four in a row; and just before that they had lost four in a row. Bigger-picture; Charlotte, after starting 6-19 this season, is 9-5 both SU and ATS over its last 14 games.
The Hornets shot 50 percent from the field Sunday, held the hapless Knicks to just 39 percent shooting, won the battle on the boards by a 65-35 margin, led by 45 points (!) through three quarters and breezed to the cover as seven-point road favorites.
At 15-24 Charlotte sits in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, now just a game and a half behind eighth-place Brooklyn.
San Antonio, meanwhile, is struggling a bit, as it battles through a bout with the injury bug. Several players have missed various amounts of action, and it's showing, as the Spurs have gone 6-9 SU, 5-9-1 ATS over their last 15 games. But they did just win three of four games on a recent home-stand, and they're 1-1 on a current three-game road swing, winning at Minnesota Sunday 108-93 but losing at Washington Tuesday night 101-93.
San Antonio only shot 40 percent from the floor Tuesday, allowed the Wizards to shoot 49 percent and lost outright as a one-point road favorite.
The Spurs had beaten Washington 17 times in a row.
At 23-16 San Antonio owns the seven spot in the Western Conference, and is only a game ahead of eighth-place Phoenix.
Spurs-Hornets Recent History
San Antonio has won the last seven meetings with Charlotte, going 5-2 ATS in the process. Last season the Spurs swept two games from the Hornets by scores of 104-100 and 92-82. Charlotte covered the first meeting as a five-point home dog, while San Antonio covered the second game as eight-point home chalk.
This will be the first meeting between the teams this season.
Spurs-Hornets Key Stats
San Antonio ranks seventh in the league in FG shooting at 46.5 percent, and sixth in 3-point marksmanship at 37 percent. The Spurs also rank 11th in FG defense, holding opponents to 44.5 percent shooting, and they average a 24/14 assist-to-turnover ratio per game.
Charlotte ranks just 27th in FG shooting at 43 percent, 29th in 3-point shooting at 31 percent, 16th in FG defense at 45 percent and averages a 20/11 assist-to-turnover ratio.
In fact, the Spurs' 24 assists per game are sixth-best in the league, while the Hornets' 11 turnovers per game is best in the league.
Spurs-Hornets Betting Trends
San Antonio is 10-10 both SU and ATS on the road this season.
Charlotte is 8-12 SU, just 7-13 ATS at home.
San Antonio is 19-20 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as Spurs games have averaged 200 points.
Charlotte is 23-16 on the totals, even though Hornets games have only averaged 195 points. They've also played five OVERS in a row, in part because they've been pegged with some low totals.
San Antonio will be without F Kawhi Leonard (15 PPG this season), as he recovers from a hand injury, while Charlotte is still without C Al Jefferson (18 PPG, eight RPG), who's got a pulled groin (not the good kind). But the Hornets have managed to go 5-2 both SU and ATS without Big Al, so far.
Spurs-Hornets Free Pick
This is a bit tough, because we're not exactly sure who's going to play for San Antonio. But Parker and Duncan have both been playing on the back halves of back-to-backs recently, and for our purpose here we'll assume they'll play tonight. Charlotte has been playing some good ball as of late, but the Spurs are still the better team. We like San Antonio's chances of bouncing back after Tuesday night's defeat; so add them to your NBA picks.
Free NBA Pick: Spurs -4.5 at 5Dimes