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 Wednesday.
Despite the visiting team being on a long winning streak and the home team being on a losing streak, it could be a closer game than the point spread suggests when the Portland Trail Blazers (11-3, 3-2 away) pay a visit to the Charlotte Hornets (4-11, 3-4 home) at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC at 7:05 ET in a game available on SportSouth.
The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Charlotte as a home underdog for this contest with the current line at +6 with odds of -108.
Teams Have Almost Inverted Records
The Trail Blazers come in riding an eight-game winning streak, and at 11-3, they sit atop the Northwest Division with a four-game lead as the only team in the division over .500, with second place Denver sitting at 7-7. Many experts think the Blazers overachieved last season when they luckily stayed amazingly healthy all year and won 54 games, but there has not been any sign of regression this season as of yet.
The Hornets have been going the polar opposite direction and now have almost the exact inverse record that Portland has at 4-11, as Charlotte has now been the losing NBA pick in six straight games. This is not the start the Hornets envision after the team that was then known as the Bobcats made the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history last season and even gave LeBron James and the Miami Heat some tough battles despite getting swept in the first round.
Not Impressive on East Trip…But Still Winning
This is the final game of a three-game Eastern road trip for the Blazers, and although they have won the first two games of the trek, they have hardly been impressive against two of the lesser teams of the NBA. First they shot 43.0 percent and committed 16 turnovers in a narrow 94-88 win over the Boston Celtics and then they needed to rally from a halftime deficit to beat the 0-14 Philadelphia 76ers 114-104 Monday, failing the cover the spread a 13-point favorites.
And the fact that Portland found ways to win those games could actually hurt the Blazers as decided road favorites in this game. That is because a winning road trip has now been assured and the team may already be looking forward to flying home after this game, especially with this being the Holiday Season.
And it is not as if the Blazers are blowing teams away on the road in any event, as their defense has been quite lax while traveling allowing 102.8 points per game.
Hornets Played Well in Portland…Until the End
While the Hornets have been disappointing for the most part, Charlotte did play well when these teams met in Portland earlier this season, or at least they did until the latter part of the fourth quarter. You see, the Hornets blew a 23-point lead in that contest and end up getting nipped 102-100. The Cats did easily cover as 6½-point underdogs that night, although that was small consolation to the players themselves.
The Hornets are not lacking in talent, as Al Jefferson (22 points), Kemba Walker (16 points) and Lance Stephenson (14 points, 14 rebounds) nearly did enough to pull that upset in Portland, which is generally one of the more difficult venues for visiting teams in the NBA.
Stephenson has slumped since, but Jefferson had five straight games of more than 20 points before scoring 16 vs. the Clippers on Monday while Walker is averaging 15.3 points, eight rebounds and six assists over his last three games, so both players have continued playing at high levels. Thus the Hornets are almost certainly better than their record and the losing streak may actually be serving to make them undervalued, especially since they were just +6½ in Portland!
A Homer Head-to-Head Series
The Charlotte cover in Portland was a bit of an anomaly for this head-to-head series as the home teams had been 7-1 ATS in the previous eight meetings. A return to that home dominance would result in the Hornets completing an ATS sweep this season with this being the final meeting with the Trail Blazers already.
And we are looking for just that to occur, with the underrated Hornets covering the number vs. Portland with an outright upset not beyond the realm of possibility at home in Charlotte on Wednesday.
NBA Pick: Hornets +6 (-108)