Hornets, Thunder Good Bets To Cover Before All-Star Break

Thursday, February 14, 2019 3:05 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 3:05 PM UTC

The Hornets look to cover against the Magic before hosting the All-Star Weekend festivities back in Charlotte, while the Thunder look to extend their win streak in New Orleans.

Charlotte (27-29 SU, 27-28-1) at Orlando (26-32 SU, 30-26-2)Thursday 7 p.m. ETFree NBA Pick: Hornets ATSBest Line Offered: Bovada

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One of the NBA's hottest teams seeks to end a long losing streak when the Orlando Magic host the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday night in each team's finale before the All-Star break.

The Hornets have beaten the Magic 13 times in a row, including six straight at Orlando. The streak includes a pair of one-sided Charlotte wins this season -- 120-88 at Orlando in October and 125-100 at home on New Year's Eve.

Orlando has won four in a row, including blowout wins at Milwaukee -- which was without Giannis Antetokounmpo -- by 20 points, Atlanta by 16 and New Orleans by 30 on a three-game trip that ended Tuesday.

The Magic had lost three in a row on the road before responding brilliantly on the just completed three-game trip.

Balanced scoring and impressive defense have been the keys to recent success and Jonathan Isaac shined on the trip, averaging 18 points and 3.3 blocks. Orlando has done nothing right against the Hornets in recent years. The Magic were especially poor in 3-point shooting in the two earlier meetings this season, going a combined 16-for-66 (24.2 percent).

Charlotte will be wrapping up a four-game trip that's been highlighted by a 129-120 win at Atlanta. The Hornets sandwiched that victory with a pair of subpar offensive games in 99-93 and 99-90 losses at Dallas and Indiana, respectively. If there's an issue for the Hornets on Thursday night, other than playing a fourth road game in nine days, it's all the hoopla that awaits when they return home to host the All-Star festivities this weekend.

Walker had 26, including five 3-pointers, in the 32-point win at Orlando in the first week of the season, then 24 with seven assists in the 25-point home win two months later. Orlando is only 14-14 ATS at home this season and Charlotte has the perfect opportunity to cover on the road before they are to host All-Star Weekend.

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PRACTICE: Marvin Williams touches on the All-Star Break approaching, the team's play on the road this season and #KembaWalker participating in the 3-Point Contest #Hornets30

See JB and Kemba's interviews now at https://t.co/BzkRIrrehy! pic.twitter.com/m3p4Y1huLd

— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) February 13, 2019
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Oklahoma City (37-19 SU, 33-23 ATS) at New Orleans (25-33 SU, 27-30-1 ATS)Thursday 8 p.m. ETFree NBA Pick: Thunder ATSBest Line Offered: Heritage

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The Pelicans season is now in limbo with Anthony Davis dictating the he no longer wanted to be a Pelican. New Orleans has fallen to 25-33 on the season and is well outside the playoff race in the Western Conference. For a team that came into the season looking to take a step forward towards contention, the Pelicans have taken two steps back and are now in serious danger of potentially losing Anthony Davis. That is a problem New Orleans will have to deal with in the offseason, but for Thursday night the Pelicans will have their hands full with Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and the rest of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Thunder are coming into this game riding a four game winning streak and are largely doing so on the back of Paul George, who is having his best and most efficient season of his career. George is averaging 28 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in his last 10 games, but more important than just his box score stats, he is leading the Thunder by buoying the teams offense and being their best defender.

The two-way nature of George’s game is what separates him from his other wing contemporaries around the league. PG13 as he is affectionately nicknamed, has the ability to guard four positions on the floor and most nights takes it upon himself to guard the opposing team’s best wing player. In this game, George may get a big reprieve because the Pelicans may be without Nikola Mirotic, who left Wednesday’s game against the Pistons with a calf injury. The rest of New Orleans’ wings are at best ancillary players and are no match for the arsenal of wing players that the Thunder can roll out.

The plummet of the Pelicans with Davos out will not be pretty to watch and smart bettors will be sure to load up on the advantageous situation of betting against New Orleans. The spread opened at Thunder being favored by five and now can be bet as low as Thunder by four and a half. Don’t be alarmed by this double digit margin, as the Thunder cover 57 percent of the time on the road this season.

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