Healthy Charlotte Our NBA Pick As Hornets Dominate The Glass Over Bulls

Jordan Sharp

Monday, February 8, 2016 3:25 PM GMT

One of the first games to tip off is the banged up and struggling Bulls heading into Charlotte to play a suddenly healthier Hornets team. Can we get some winning NBA Picks tonight?

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Free NBA Pick: Hornets -6
Best Line Offered: at The Greek

 

Can Banged Up Bulls Stay Relevant?
Chicago did get Pau Gasol back into the lineup in their most recent loss to the Wolves, and while they also got back Mike Dunleavy in that one, being without Jimmy Butler for the foreseeable future, along with Nikola Mirtoic and Joakim Noah is really hurting this team. They went from having one of the deepest frontcourts in the league to the shallowest, and Noah out has really hurt their bench depth and defense.

Tonight, Butler will definitely not play, and it could surprise me to see him play within the next several weeks. While Derrick Rose has been fantastic in the Bulls’ last ten games or so, it has not translated to wins or covers for the Bulls. Chicago has lost four of their last five games heading into this one, and if they don’t turn things around soon, it might be a lost season and time to blow it up for the Bulls.

Another big factor in this game is the Hornets, who were in the same position as the Bulls a few weeks ago, but a surprising return from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and the return of most of their players outside of Al Jefferson (who was just cleared for contact work) has now pushed this team back into relevancy.

Tonight, the Hornets are going to be a very tough matchup for the Bulls. Kidd-Gilchrist and Nicholas Batum are both very tough to guard, and the Bulls already don’t play wing players very well. This could lead to Charlotte grabbing this game like they did in their first home meeting against the Bulls and never letting go. Earlier in the season, the Hornets destroyed the Bulls 130-105, and while the last two meetings have been much closer, Charlotte covered both of them, and even won one of the games in Chicago SU.

 

The Sharp Pick
With the NBA odds lengthening from -4 ½ to -6, and with how bad the Bulls have played recently, it isn’t hard to fade Chicago again tonight until they turn things around. The Bulls are only 1-4 ATS and SU in their last five games, and while the Hornets haven’t been great ATS recently, they have covered three of their last four games overall, and they are 4-1 SU in their last five home games.

The Bulls, on the other hand, are only 10-15 ATS when playing away from home, and they are only 5-9 ATS when playing on the road in conference games. Without Butler to check Batum tonight, and with Kemba Walker potentially matching or even out-pacing Rose tonight, I have to go against my fandom and bet on the healthier and most complete team currently. Butler’s absence really limits the Bulls on both ends, but on defense is where the extended absence will be felt the most. Without Butler on the floor this season, the Bulls’ Offensive Rating goes from 104.1 to 102.9. With the Hornets getting healthier, this means their defense will be able to game plan for the Bulls easier, and even dominate the glass tonight with Cody Zeller back in the lineup. Take the Hornets for your NBA picks.