NBA Picks: Bet Hornets +2 In Key Eastern Conference Clash vs. Pistons

Jason Lake

Friday, March 25, 2016 10:51 AM UTC

Friday, Mar. 25, 2016 10:51 AM UTC

The Charlotte Hornets are 2-point road dogs on the NBA odds board for Friday's game against the Detroit Pistons. Nice, but have the Hornets already drained their betting value?

Jason's 2015-16 record as of March 24: 29-34-1 ATS, 6-3-1 Total

They're not a secret anymore, folks. The Charlotte Hornets (41-30 SU, 37-33-1 ATS) have started to turn some heads in the Eastern Conference; they beat the Brooklyn Nets 105-100 on Tuesday to improve to 19-5 SU in their last 24 games. Remarkable. Then again, they dropped the cash as 6-point road faves on the closing line. Charlotte is now 2-4 ATS in its last six. Is it too late to put the Hornets in our NBA picks?

Our next opportunity comes Friday night (7:30 p.m. ET, NBA-TV) when Charlotte visits the Detroit Pistons, who might be in the same boat at 11-5 SU over the past month, but 2-3-1 ATS in their last six. The Pistons (38-34 SU, 36-34-2 ATS) are 2-point favorites on the NBA odds board as we go to press; totals are still pending for this matchup.


KCP Accidental
We're just happy to have an overnight line available this time. Detroit has a starter listed as questionable: SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (12.7 PER, +1.2 BPM), who missed Wednesday's 118-102 win over the Orlando Magic (+6 away) with an illness. However, it looks like Caldwell-Pope will play after going through a light practice on Thursday.

Charlotte also figures to have PF Marvin Williams (16.5 PER, +2.5 BPM) back in the lineup after he sat out the Brooklyn game with a sprained left ankle. That leaves both teams at fairly close to 100 percent, close enough that the following projections should have some bite to them:

FiveThirtyEight (CARM-Elo): Detroit –1.5
Basketball-Reference (SRS): Detroit –1.86

Intriguing. By the way, that point spread projection from FiveThirtyEight might be a off a bit. If you look at their win-percentage projection, they have the Pistons winning Friday's game 57 percent of the time, which translates to somewhere between Detroit –2.5 and Detroit –3 according to our old friends at Wizard of Odds. I will investigate further and get back to you.


Two Times
There doesn't seem to be much built-in profit margin on either team, so we're inclined to give extra weight to the season series between these two clubs – and it's been all-Charlotte, all the time. The Hornets took a pair of home games off Detroit SU and ATS, beating the Pistons pretty handily both times. Most recently, it was Charlotte (–4) beating Detroit 118-103 on March 11, with both teams at nearly full capacity; Caldwell-Pope led the Pistons that day with 24 points, while Williams led all Hornets with 22 points.

Two games is a small sample size, and really, it's one game – their first meeting was back on December 7, with different starting lineups for both teams. But we'll recommend Charlotte for a small bet in this situation. May the sphere be with you.

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NBA Pick: Hornets +2 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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