Hornets, Pistons Good Picks on Road to Improve Playoff Chances

Troy Haliburton

Friday, March 2, 2018 4:44 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 2, 2018 4:44 PM UTC

Charlotte and Detroit, two teams on the outside looking in, are trying to improve their hopes of an Eastern Conference playoff berth. Should bettors believe in them on the road tonight?

 

Friday NBA: Hornets vs. 76ersFree NBA Pick: Hornets +4Best Line Offered: Bovada

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The 76ers (34-24-2 ATS) got back on track Thursday night with a big win against Cleveland, snapping a two-game losing streak with hopes of climbing back up the Eastern Conference playoff standings. Philadelphia was able to upset LeBron James by providing a balanced attack of six players scoring in double figures, lead by J.J. Reddick’s 22 points.

Charlotte (26-32-4 ATS) is coming off a 28-point loss to Boston on Wednesday, but had won its four previous games. In an interesting schedule quirk, the Hornets and Sixers will be playing the first of their four meetings this season tonight, so these teams will become very familiar with one another over the next six weeks.

Philadelphia is one of the better teams ATS with a record of 34-24-2, but the Sixers are actually the worst team when it comes to ATS on second night of a back-to-back. They are 2-6-1 on no days of rest and a lot of that has to do with the availability and health of Joel Embiid. The All-Star big man just started playing back-to-backs for the first time this season because of health restrictions, and even when he plays on the second night, he still has a minutes restriction.

Philadelphia is a home favorite on the NBA odds board, but with your NBA picks look for an outright upset. Charlotte will use its dominance down low from Dwight Howard to push Philly around in the paint, and Kemba Walker will use his shiftiness on the perimeter to lead the Hornets to the victory.

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Joel Embiid’s word choice to describe James Harden’s crossover/step back/stare down on Wes Johnson? “Disrespectful” pic.twitter.com/yMZrOikHUc

— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 1, 2018
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Friday NBA: Pistons vs. MagicFree NBA Pick: Pistons -2.5Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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Detroit (27-32-2) has struggled lately, having lost three of their past four games, but a big win against Milwaukee kept their playoff hopes alive. Blake Griffin struggled mightily in that victory, scoring only eight points and grabbing nine rebounds. Detroit was led by Andre Drummond, who posted a career-high 16th straight double-double.

Orlando (28-32-1 ATS) is also in a slump with seven consecutive defeats. Early in the season Orlando was shooting and making the most threes in the NBA for a stretch, and a lot of that was coming from Aaron Gordon, who is definitely not known for being a prolific sharp-shooter. Not only are the Magic now struggling offensively, they are also struggling to stop teams from scoring at will. The Magic give up 110 points per night, making them the 27th-ranked defense in the NBA.

The Pistons' defense ranks in the top 10 in opponents points per game (107 ppg). Detroit has the anchor down low in Drummond, who is quietly having one of his best seasons. Orlando has no incentive to win tonight while Detroit, a road favorite on the NBA odds board, needs this game desperately to get back in the playoff hunt. With your NBA picks, look for the Pistons to take care of business and improve upon their 14-13 -1 road ATS record.

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