Maximize Your Profit with NBA Picks on Wizards vs. Hornet by Laying the Chalk & Betting the Total

Matthew Jordan

Monday, February 2, 2015 8:24 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 2, 2015 8:24 PM UTC

It's a potential first-round playoff preview on Monday night in Washington as the Wizards host the Hornets. Washington is a 7.5-point favorite on  NBA odds with a total of 188.5 points.

Hornets Dealing with Major Injury
I'll admit that I thought the Hornets were going to struggle big time once star point guard Kemba Walker had surgery on a torn ligament on his knee. And maybe they still will, but Charlotte is 2-1 without its leading scorer and assist man. It's possible Walker won't make it back this season, but the team still hopes he can late in the year. I expect the Hornets to trade for a point guard, however. Walker was a big reason why Charlotte ranks No. 1 in the NBA in fewest turnovers committed per game at 11.7.

The Hornets (20-27, No. 8 in East) come off a 104-86 win in Denver on Saturday, the third straight game the team has held an opponent to 95 points or less since getting slaughtered 129-90 in Cleveland on Jan. 23 in Walker's last game before the surgery. Cody Zeller had a career-high 21 points against the Nuggets and Lance Stephenson had a career-high 13 assists. It was Charlotte's 10th win in 13 games and in 12 of those the team has held its opponent to under 100 points. The Hornets are No. 6 in the NBA in defense, allowing 97.1 points per game.

It's possible that Hornets forward Marvin Williams returns for this game. He has missed the past two with a concussion. Center Bismack Biyombo, who had really been blossoming of late, remains out with a bone bruise in his right knee. That could hurt especially against Washington, which has a lot of size.

Charlotte is 22-23-2 against the NBA betting spread this season and 24-23 'over/under.'

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Wizards Look to End Skid
The Wizards (31-17, No. 3 in East) enter on a two-game losing streak. They lost 106-98 in Phoenix last Friday to conclude a four-game West Coast trip and then 120-116 in overtime at home on Saturday against Toronto. Washington All-Star point guard John Wall played through migraine headaches and a sprained right ankle against the Raptors and was terrific with 28 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds. It was his first career game reaching at least all of those totals. Bradley Beal had 26 points. The Wizards were down as much as 21 points in that one so even getting it to overtime was a minor victory. Wizards big man Nene played against the Raptors after missing the Suns game with a sore right foot. He had 16 points and four rebounds.

Washington forward Paul Pierce is likely to climb the NBA's all-time scoring list in this game. The future Hall of Famer is currently just two points behind No. 15 Alex English (25,613). Pierce is the fourth leading scorer all time among active players behind Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Garnett. Tim Duncan isn't far behind Pierce, though.

The Wizards' 31 wins before Feb. 1 were their most since the 1978-79 season. That club finished 54-28 and lost in the NBA Finals the season after winning its only title.

Washington is 20-27-1 against the spread and 22-25-1 'over/under' on NBA betting odds.


Last Season
Somehow this is the first meeting of the season between the Southeast Division rivals -- actually, does anyone really care who is in what division in the NBA? Didn't think so. Charlotte won three of four against Washington a season ago. Walker averaged 18.3 points and 8.8 assists in those four games while Al Jefferson averaged 17.8 points and 12.3 rebounds. Beal led the Wizards in scoring against Charlotte at 16.8 points per game with  Wall at 16.0 points and 7.3 assists and Marcin Gortat at 15.8 points and 12.0 rebounds. Charlotte has won two straight at Washington.

Yes, I'm taking the Wizards with my NBA picks, even though they have failed to cover six straight games. The 'under' is 4-0 in the past four meetings. The 'under' is 7-1 in Charlotte's past eight games. 

NBA Free Picks: Washington -7.5 and 'Under' 188.5 points at 5Dimes

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