NBA Pick: New Orleans Hornets, Golden State Warriors ‘under’ 197

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

The Warriors have tightened up their defense as of late, which has keyed a 7-3 run, and the Hornets have also played excellent defense vs. good competition so go ‘under’ Wednesday.

Expect a lower scoring game than the posted total suggests on Wednesday night when the New Orleans Hornets (26-48, 10-25 away) pay a visit to the Golden State Warriors (42-32, 25-11 home) at Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA at 10:35 ET.

The posted total at 5 Dimes is 197 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -104.

The Warriors have won seven of their last 10 games by tightening up defensively, and this spurt leaves Golden State in sixth place in the Western Conference standings, one game ahead of the seventh place Houston Rockets and 3½ games ahead of the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers tied in eighth.

The truth of the matter is that with very little fanfare, the Warriors have actually been playing good defense all season as they are ranked fourth in the NBA in field goal percentage allowed at 43.6 percent and fourth in three-point defense at 34.1 percent. Golden State does not get enough credit for its defense because it is ranked 19th in points against at 100.2 per game, but that is solely because of the fast pace they like to play at.

They have cut those points against to just 92.5 per game over the last 10 games though, a period which has seen their three best defensive games of the season from a scoring standpoint as they held the New York Knicks to 63 points, the high flying Rockets to 78 and these Hornets to 72 in a 93-72 win at New Orleans two weeks ago.

Now this encounter may not be as low scoring as that last matchup, but it should still be low scoring enough to go ‘under’ this number given the Warriors ‘ continued focus on the defensive end as of late at the behest of Coach Mark Jackson.

Because of that newfound defensive commitment, the ‘under’ is now 8-2 in the last 10 Golden State conference games, and the timing of that focus could not be any better with the playoffs approaching, where playing defense is essential.

Now the Hornets will not have to worry about the playoffs as they have the second fewest wins in the Western Conference with 26, leading only the Phoenix Suns (23), but the Hornets have been pests vs. playoff teams as of late as they continue to play hard.

On a just completed home stand, New Orleans posted consecutive wins vs. the Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets while holding those three playoff clubs to an average of only 85.0 points!

The Bees are a respectable 14th in the league in points against at 97.6 per game, so while we do not expect 165 combined points again like last time, we do expect another relatively safe ‘under’ on Wednesday.

[gameodds]5/223741/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Hornets, Warriors ‘under’ 197 (-104)