Charlotte Bobcats (21-28 SU, 26-21-2 ATS)
To illustrate just how far the depth in the Eastern Conference has fallen, all one needs to do is look at the Charlotte Bobcats who currently hold the eighth and final spot in the playoff seedings with a 21-28 record. Only until you reach the fifth seed will you see a team with a record over .500 and that distinction belongs to the Washington Wizards. The Bobcats on the other hand are still alive due primarily to a solid defense which ranks them seventh in the NBA, allowing 97.4 points per game.
The Cats were toothless early on Saturday night as they trailed the Suns by 18 points at the half and things didn’t get much better in the third quarter when they were outscored 31-22, trailing hopelessly by 27 points to begin the final frame. Apparently the Suns got disinterested or the Bobcats decided that they didn’t care to get humiliated in the desert when they closed to within 10 points to bow 105-95 yet still disappointed their backers when they failed to cover the NBA odds as nine-point road dogs. Al Jefferson, who had been immense over the previous three games averaging 35.7 points and 14 rebounds, crashed back to earth with a miserable 4-for-10 shooting performance and grabbed only six boards.
Golden State (29-19 SU, 22-25-1 ATS)
The Warriors managed to sink two of their biggest Western Conference rivals last week when they throttled the Trailblazers 103-88 and rewarded those who backed them in their NBA picks as they covered easily as 6 ½ point home favorites. Apparently they were still reveling in their victory when they took on the Wizards two nights later and not only failed to cover but lost the game outright 88-85 as eight-point home chalk in NBA odds.
But they got right back on track with another big win and cover in NBA odds as they trounced the Clippers 111-92. The following night they played down to the level of their competition as they took to the highway and notched a 95-90 victory over the Jazz but failed to get the cover as six-point favorites in NBA odds. They did not overwhelm on the glass, as they do so routinely and evidenced by their second ranked status in rebounds per game, however Stephen Curry was a one-man wrecking crew scoring 44 points and center Andrew Bogut dominated with 17 rebounds.
Free NBA Pick:
Clearly this is a game between the haves and the have-nots as Golden State is poised for a serious postseason run while Charlotte is clinging to the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference. Those that recall the last meeting between these two clubs will no doubt remember that the Cats upset Golden State at home as six-point underdogs at online sportsbooks. Now conventional wisdom would hold that the Warriors have revenge on their minds but the truth be told, in the grind that is the NBA schedule, that is only a minor consideration as they look ahead to a home tilt with the Bulls and then a road game against the Suns.
While perusing the NBA odds in this one I don’t want to get overwrought with blindly backing a very good team over a barely marginal club like the Bobcats. The Warriors have set a pattern of getting up for the big boys but playing lackadaisically when facing the weaker sisters of the NBA.
When placing my NBA picks I like to look at the matchups and even without Kemba Walker, who played in their last meeting and has been sidelined for over two weeks with an ankle sprain, I think these dogs just may bite tonight.
Play Charlotte +10 in NBA odds at WilliamHill.com.