On the surface, this may not seem like all that interesting of a matchup, but the Hornets and Celtics are still fighting for a playoff spot. Who should we take with our NBA picks tonight?
Boston Celtics vs. Charlotte Hornets Odds Overview
One night after getting smacked around by the Clippers, the Celtics once again find themselves as underdogs, this time on the road in Charlotte. The Hornets are favored by 3.5 points at a large majority of the sportsbooks that we've run over.
Interested in taking a shot at the total instead? The NBA odds O/U is at a relatively low number of 194, which isn't too surprising considering the Hornets have been one of the better defensive teams in the NBA this season, ranking fourth in fewest points allowed per game (97.1).
Though the race is still wide open in the weak Eastern Conference, the Hornets certainly haven't been doing themselves any favors with their recent play. Yes, they won in their latest matchup, but they're still a dreadful 3-8 over their last 11 contests overall and will enter tonight's game having dropped three of four.
Perhaps Saturday's home win over Atlanta will be the kickstarter the team needs. Before we dive into the numbers, it should be noted that the Hawks rested all five of their starters, which is why the Hornets were able to race away in the 115-100 victory. Kemba Walker had a 21/6/5 line, Gerald Henderson chipped in with 20 points, five rebounds and four assists, and Marvin Williams, Mo Wiliams and P.J. Hairston all hit double figures as well.
Now Charlotte takes on the Celtics, looking to improve upon their 31-41 overall record. The Hornets are just one game back of the eighth seed (Brooklyn), so we know they're going to come out motivated from the opening tipoff this evening.
Having alternated wins and losses over their last five games, the Celtics have been unable to find the necessary consistency to make a concerted push up the standings. That being said, they're just a half game back of the final playoff spot, so they've still got a great chance to lock up their spot in the postseason, assuming they can turn things around to close out the regular season.
Last night was a mess from start to finish, however, as Boston was unable to stop Chris Paul and the Clippers from doing whatever they wanted offensively. LA shot 48.8 percent overall and nailed 13 threes in the victory, with the Celtics unable to match that efficiency, shooting just a hair above 41 percent in the loss. Only two of Boston's five starters (Brandon Bass and Tyler Zeller) hit double figures in scoring, as the backcourt of Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley really struggled to get anything going and were subsequently benched for a majority of the game.
Let's see if the Celtics will shake off that rough showing and come out with more urgency on the road against the Hornets tonight. Coming in, Boston has gone 14-22 on the road, though they have been much more competitive as of late in that regard.
The Celtics let us down in a big way yesterday, but we're going right back to the well tonight and expecting a far better all-around effort.
Weirdly enough, it seems like Boston has been relishing the chance to go out on the road and prove their worth. They've won four of their last six away from home, and we think they have an excellent chance of cashing against a Charlotte squad that's two games under .500 (17-19) at home this season.
What's more, the Hornets are banged up right now, and just haven't been getting the job done on a consistent basis. We look for the pesky Celtics to come away with the ATS cover as small road dogs with our NBA pick tonight.
NBA Pick: Boston Celtics +3 at BetOnline