The Brooklyn Nets are going nowhere fast. The Charlotte Hornets are rolling toward the Eastern Conference playoffs. Shouldn't be a terribly difficult NBA pick, right?
Jason's 2015-16 record as of March 21: 28-33-1 ATS, 6-3-1 Total
What was that we were saying about the Brooklyn Nets and their betting value? After a profitable February, the Nets have been stinking it up lately, dropping four of their last five SU and ATS. It's not like they're trying to lose, either. The Boston Celtics own Brooklyn's first-round pick in 2016, courtesy of that trade three years ago that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets.
Brooklyn's next game is this Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, YES) at home against the Charlotte Hornets, who are pollinating everything these days at 18-5 SU and 15-8 ATS since the end of January. They even beat the San Antonio Spurs (–6 away) 91-88 Monday night. For some reason, none of Tuesday's NBA odds have been published as we go to press, and it's getting late, so we'll have to eyeball this one. But you'd think the Hornets would be the sharp pick. Wouldn't you?
Rondae in Your Life
I know I would. Let's see what the hoop nerds have to say first, though.
FiveThirtyEight (CARM-Elo): Charlotte –4.5
Basketball-Reference (SRS): Charlotte –4.95
Glad to see our two preferred projectionists in the same time zone. But we have to look askance at these numbers; the Nets (19-50 SU, 34-34-1 ATS) are a stripped-down version of the team they were to start the season. They've suffered major injuries, they've cleared out their front office, and they've cut loose both Joe Johnson (10.8 PER, –2.0 BPM) and Andrea Bargnani (12.0 PER, –7.8 BPM).
At least Brooklyn should get one of those injured players back. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (13.5 PER, +1.1 BPM), who impressed with his defense earlier this year, is expected back Tuesday after missing 50 games with a broken foot. Hollis-Jefferson has been putting in full practices for two weeks already, so he should be good to go. Brooklyn went 5-9 SU and 10-4 ATS in the 14 games Hollis-Jefferson started in this, his rookie campaign.
The Hornets (40-30 SU, 37-32-1 ATS) will be playing on zero days of rest after upsetting the Spurs, who were up 30-7 early in the second quarter before coughing up the lead. That was a full team for San Antonio, too. Charlotte is 8-4 SU and 5-7 ATS this year playing the second of back-to-back affairs, and Tuesday could easily be a letdown game after that big win against the best team in the league.
Still no odds? Fine, we'll just have to blindly recommend the Nets for your NBA picks, based on the return of Hollis-Jefferson and the lack of rest for the Hornets. By all means, adjust your bets (and your bet sizing) accordingly, depending on how the lines come out. May the sphere be with you in the meantime.