Free NBA Pick for Friday's Raptors vs. Hornets Game in Charlotte

SBR Staff

Friday, March 6, 2015 3:39 PM GMT

Friday, Mar. 6, 2015 3:39 PM GMT

We really like the money line today when the Raptors travel to Charlotte to take on the Hornets. Recent play gives us a lot of value on the Hornets to pull out the win in this East Conference matchup.

Charlotte Hornets
Toronto had a great first half of the season and looked like a contender in the Eastern Conference. Even with their recent slide the Raptors are still at 38-23 for the season and very much in the mix.  The Hornets on the other hand are sitting at 26-33 and have played well since the break, but not well enough to make this line tighter, several sportsbooks are offering this game as a PK. It makes sense to us that the Raptors would come into this game the favorite whether or not Lowry plays, which brings us to…

 

One Player Can Make a Difference... Sometimes,  Maybe
If you are confused about this statement above, don’t worry, it fits here. Kyle Lowry has been out the last three games and it has shown… well not really.  They have shot 49% from the field and lead the league the last three games in offensive efficiency (1.51).  The problem has come on the defensive end. The Raptors in the last three games have allowed opponents to shoot 49% from the field and 40% beyond the arc.  They do like to go up tempo so the numbers are not surprising, still when two of those three games were against NY and Philly we might have a problem.  Lowry could make the difference but since the break this team has not been playing well with or without him. After a great win at Atlanta they are 1-6 in their last seven games with their sole win over the Sixers.

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Sometimes It’s Tempo Sometimes It’s Defense
We can forgive teams like Toronto, Phx, and New Orleans that allow a lot of points because they do push the ball and tempo, but defense still trumps offense in the NBA when it comes to championships.  What do Toronto, New York, Orlando, LA, and Minnesota have in common?  They are the bottom five teams in opponent shooting percentage this year in the NBA.  The difference of those five is only one of them have a winning record.  Unfortunately for the Raptors their defense, or lack thereof, might be coming back to haunt them the second half of the season.  On the other hand the Hornets have played solid defense for most of the year, some of it is due to tempo some of it not.  They are 8th in the NBA in opponent shooting percentage at 43.7%, and in the last three games they are allowing 40% from the field and 31% from beyond the arc.  We understand sometimes this due to the caliber of teams faced and Toronto is a completely different monster.  Still when they faced earlier in the year they held the Raptors to 39% from the field and 95 points in a win.

 

The Other Line
Another line that is pretty telling by the NBA odds makers is the over/under at 194. For a team that puts up a lot of points and tries to push tempo like Toronto this seems a bit low. This just adds to our confidence in our assessment that the Hornets will control this game on the defensive end and pull out the home win so add Charlotte to your NBA picks

Free NBA Pick:  Charlotte -1 at 5Dimes

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