Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Saturday.
It could be a much closer game than the posted double-digit line would indicate Saturday night when the Charlotte Hornets (4-5, 1-4 away) continue their west coast road trip as they pay a visit to the Golden State Warriors (6-2, 3-1 home) at Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA at 10:35 ET in a game available on SportSouth.
The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Charlotte as a large underdog for this contest with the current line at +10½ with odds of -108.
Nearly Won Two Straight
The Hornets could easily be on a two-game winning streak on the trip as they blew a 23-point lead losing in Portland 102-100 on Tuesday, although to their credit they did rebound nicely by recording their first road win of the season 103-95 in Phoenix last night. The Hornets held the run-and-gun Suns to just 43.0 percent shooting in that victory including 8-for-29, 27.6 percent from beyond the three-point arc.
The Warriors also showed some gumption after being the losing NBA picks here at home to the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs Tuesday in a game they were sky high for, as they bounced back with a 107-99 win over the Brooklyn Nets Thursday. Klay Thompson led the way in that victory with 25 points, but the rest of the scoring was well distributed with all five starters scoring in the double-digits.
Kemba Taking Over
The Hornets began the season 1-3, but Kemba Walker has taken over since then averaging 17.0 points in the last five games with Charlotte going 3-2 in those games, a record that should probably be 4-1 given the meltdown vs. the Trail Blazers. When Walker is shooting the ball as well as he is now, it gives the Hornets a nice inside-outside game along with big man Al Jefferson, who leads the team with 21.7 points per game on 48.9 percent shooting.
With both players clicking, the Hornets have averaged 102.6 points per game on those last five contests after averaging only 90.3 points during the 1-3 start, an average that would have been lower if not going to overtime while scoring 108 points vs. the Milwaukee Buck opening night.
It is also noteworthy that four of the five Charlotte losses this season have been by single-digits, meaning that the Hornets would be 8-1 ATS vs. tonight’s posted double-digit number.
Just 1-2 since 5-0 Start
The Warriors were the last unbeaten team to taste defeat this young season losing on the road to the Phoenix Suns last Sunday following a 5-0 start. However that loss was followed by the loss to the Spurs before getting back on track vs. Brooklyn. Keep in mind though that Golden State is still playing without its walking double-double David Lee and his replacement Andrew Bogut has not averaged double digits in scoring since the 2011-12 season while with Milwaukee.
That could give Charlotte a huge edge at the center position here with Jefferson expected to dominate. That means that the Warriors will need to be carried by their dynamic backcourt of Thompson and Stephen Curry, and new coach Steve Kerr is trying to rein those players in a bit as he want them to be, in his own words, “explosive, but a little less wild. It can be done, but it’s tricky.” Thus we may see less freelancing from the duo, which may or may not be a good thing.
Charlotte Swept Last Season
Finally, Charlotte swept both meetings between these clubs last season when they were still known as the Bobcats, including being able to slow the pace to their liking in a 91-75 upset win here in Oakland as 10-point underdogs, which is very close to this spread tonight.
Whether or not Charlotte makes it three straight outright wins vs. the Warriors could be debatable, but at the very least look for the Hornets to take this game down to the wire, covering the big spot vs. Golden State in Oakland on Saturday.
NBA Pick: Hornets +10½ (-108)