By the Numbers NBA Picks: Stranger Danger - Visitors Loom Large

Kawhi Leonard

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, April 8, 2017 6:47 PM GMT

Saturday, Apr. 8, 2017 6:47 PM GMT

By the Numbers is a daily column featuring Swinger’s top selections according to historical trends and game time matchups. Let’s review the top picks for Saturday’s slate and cash in our tickets.

Celtics (50-29 SU, 38-39-2 ATS) vs. Hornets (36-43 SU, 35-41-3 ATS)

* Charlotte is 5-11 ATS in their last 16 Saturday games.

* Charlotte is 6-13 ATS in their last 19 home games.

* Charlotte is 0-4 ATS in their last four games as a home underdog.

* Charlotte is 0-5 ATS in their last five games as a home underdog of 0.5-4.5.

* Boston is 7-2 ATS in their last nine Saturday games.

* Boston is 17-7 ATS in their last 24 games as a favorite of 0.5-4.5.

* Boston is 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games as a road favorite of 0.5-4.5.

* Boston is 7-1 ATS versus Charlotte in their last eight games.

The NBA odds makers have me a bit perplexed. I'm not sure why the possible top seed in the Eastern Conference would be only a teeny, tiny, little favorite over a team that will in all likelihood be making vacation plans after the regular season ends next week. Some will say that the Hornets need to win every game to stay alive but think back to how many times you bet a team because they had to win while the other team had little to play for? How'd that work out? Can you still hear yourself screaming at the top of your lungs that they needed that game and didn't come to play! Well, Boston needs this one too as they are trying to knock Cleveland from their perch atop the Eastern Conference and have absolutely owned the Hornets in recent memory going 7-1 ATS in all meetings and 4-0 ATS in games played at Charlotte. Lay the small number and include the Green in your NBA picks.

NBA Pick: Celtics -1Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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Clippers (48-31 SU, 37-41-1) vs. Spurs (61-18 SU, 42-36-1 ATS)

* San Antonio is 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games.

* San Antonio is  4-12 ATS in their last 16 games following a straight up win.

* San Antonio is 0-4 ATS in their last four games as a home favorite of 0.5-4.5.

* San Antonio is  1-4 ATS in their last five games playing on zero days' rest.

* Los Angeles is 4-1 ATS in their last five road games vs. a team with a home winning percentage of greater than .600.

* Los Angeles is 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600.

* Los Angeles is 5-1 ATS in their last six games as a road underdog of 0.5-4.5.

* Los Angeles is 5-1 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.

The Spurs are going to be the No. 2 seed in the conference and that's that. They have little to nothing to play for here and their starters won't be going full tilt in this one as there is nothing left to gain except an injury for the upcoming postseason. Conversely, the Clips are battling the Jazz for home court advantage in their impending first round playoff tilt and that is at least something to shoot for in this matchup against the Spurs. However, I am not going to suddenly reverse what I said about the Hornets in terms of something to play for and suddenly make a case for the Clippers. However, starters playing limited minutes for the Spurs is a very real possibility and the Clips have won and covered two of three against San Antonio this season.

NBA Pick: Clippers +3Best Line Offered: at Betmania

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