NBA Picks: Nets vs. Hornets

Jordan Sharp

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 3:51 PM GMT

Who are we expecting to suit up tonight when the banged up Nets face the Hornets, and where might sports bettors be smart to place their NBA picks?

Since starting the season 11-4 SU, the Nets have been on a rollercoaster over the past three months. Now they are banged up heading into crunch time, as they make a stop in New Orleans to meet the Hornets tonight.

NBA odds makers have opened Brooklyn as a +2 underdog in this contest, something that is becoming more common these past months, and the total sits at 184 ½ points. This line was really late coming out this morning, and it all revolves around the health of two very important Nets.

[gameodds]5/219515/43/us[/gameodds]

Amazingly Average

Not only have the Nets gone 22-20 SU since December, but they have been a thorn ATS as well. Brooklyn comes into this matchup 5-30-2 ATS on the season, but they are right at .500 on the road when it comes to covering the betting lines. However they will most likely have to win outright to get the cover this evening, and they might be doing it without one or two starters.

Joe Johnson is listed as questionable tonight, and although reports came out yesterday that he went through practice, some reports claim that Johnson may have a more serious issue than a bruised heel. The dreaded “plantar fasciitis,” was thrown around, but nothing is set in stone until you hear it from the Nets, so monitor SBR's NBA Betting Forum for the latest news on the status of Johnson and how it helps the value.

Also, Deron Williams has been dealing with pain in both of his ankles, and he has been receiving cortisone shots. This is not good news for a guy that has also admitted his ankles are wearing down at the end of games. This is definately not something you want to hear from a guy who just signed a max contract at the age of 28.

So, to all of you who think the Nets +2 is the best choice for your sports picks, please stop judging a book by it’s cover.

Hornets (All of Southwest) go unnoticed

New Orleans and the rest of their division are doing something that I can’t get over. The entire division is making money ATS this season, and there is very little talk of it. It probably stems from three of the five teams are in small markets, and the other two are Texas teams hovering right above and right below mediocrity this season. They don’t get a lot of press, with the exception of the Rockets this season, and they are still 32-25-1 ATS this season.

The Hornets are a prime example of an underrated spread team this season. New Orleans is 20-37 SU this season, but a respectable 31-26 ATS, and a very respectable 19-11 ATS on the road. Alas, they are the host of this game, but still, much like last season, the Hornets play tough to the end and do not tank.

The Sharp Pick

I have to say the numbers on this game are pretty sharp. It took them long enough to put them on the board so I guess they should be. However, I am on a mission to beat the sportsbooks tonight, and I think I have the solution.

New Orleans was a wasteland on offense for most of the season. It was kind of shocking as they have two very good guards and some excellent weapons. They averaged less than 88 points per game at home for their first 18 home games, but since then they have magically flipped the offense switch. In their last nine home games, the Hornets are averaging over 100 points per game at home, and they’ve scored at least 100 points in their last three games overall.

I know Brooklyn is very stingy on defense this season, which is the only thing separating them from Eastern Conference lottery teams. However, with the possibility of no Johnson and the definitely banged up D. Williams for the Nets, I think the Hornets will have enough to score the ball well tonight. Because of the uncertainty surrounding the Nets’ two guards, I can’t touch any of the full game numbers if they involve the Nets. 

However, the Hornets are on a nice offensive streak right now, and they too have an underrated defense. New Orleans will cause some turnovers tonight leading to fast break buckets and I think they will go over their team total. The Hornets have also scored over 100 points against the Nets in their last three meetings, so around 93 ½ or so should be a bargain tonight considering the recent offensive trends with NOLA.

Free NBA Pick: Hornets TT OVER 93 ½