NBA Picks: Sharp 'Under' Betting in Tonight's Raptors vs. Hornets

Kevin Stott

Thursday, December 17, 2015 12:18 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015 12:18 PM UTC

With Toronto just 6-20 ATS in their L26 against Charlotte, is backing the host Hornets the automatic NBA pick? Or are there maybe some better approaches for this particular game?

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NBA Pick: Under 196
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


Odds Overview
Toronto Raptors vs. Charlotte Hornets: Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors (16-10 SU, 16-10 ATS) head to the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte on Thursday night to face the upstart Charlotte Hornets (14-8 SU, 13-9-1 ATS) in an Eastern Conference meeting between divisional (Atlantic, Southeast) leaders. Oddsmakers have opened the host Hornets as slight 1½-point favorites (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) here with the game’s Total set at 195 on the NBA odds (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook). The Money Line odds see Charlotte priced at -120 (Coral) with the visiting Raptors lined at +100 on the takeback. The Charlotte Hornets Team Total Points has been set at 98½ (Over -110, Under -120, SkyBet) with the Toronto Raptors Team Total Points at 97½ (Over -110, Under -120, SkyBet).


Toronto Raptors
Led by the dynamic Guard duo of Kyle Lowry and De Marcus DeRozan, the Raptors (8-6 Road) and Head Coach Dwane Casey have had a nice start to this season, are on top of the lowly Atlantic Division and have W4 of their L5 games heading into this showdown with the Hornets in Charlotte on Thursday evening. In their last game, a 106-90 Loss at Indiana on Monday, Toronto (50/1 to win NBA Championship, Coral) started C Bismack Biyombo (5.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg), PF Luis Scola (10.2 ppg, 5.8 ppg), SF Terrence Ross and Lowry (20 points) and DeRozan (20 points), and although this team has gotten off to a nice start, have W 4 of their L5 and rank #3 in NBA in Points allowed per game (95.8), it’s the Bench and supporting cast that make this team suspect and hard to want to back both on a nightly basis and in the Futures markets. And this team has also some Injury issues right now with C Jonas Valanciunas (Hand) out until early January and F DeMarre Carroll (Knee) Out Indefinitely—two pretty big cogs in the Toronto system. Luckily for the lone Canadian team in the NBA, they live in the Atlantic Division. So with guys like G Cory Joseph, PF Patrick Patterson, PF James Johnson and C Lucas Nogueira suddenly being expected to carry more weight and to try to provide more scoring for the Raptors, something’s gotta give as the talented Lowry (21.3 ppg, 6.0 apg) and DeRozan (21.7 ppg) can only do so much.


Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets (10-4 at Home) and Head Coach Steve Clifford have an extremely nice blend of Starters and bench players, with six Hornets averaging in double-digits and the next five players down the Depth chart all solid college players who know the importance of the team concept and were on winning schools in College. Electric PG Kemba Walker (18.0 ppg), SG Nicolas Batum (17.0 ppg), C Al Jefferson (13.7 ppg) and PF Marvin Williams (10.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg) give the Defense-minded Hornets (#8 in NBA, 98.0 ppg Allowed) a solid starting group and with C Cody Zeller (Indiana), C Spencer Hawes (Washington), F Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin), Human Hustle Machine Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina) and SF PJ Hairston (North Carolina), the Hornets (102.7 ppg-98.0 ppg) could have a very bright Future and it’s important to remember in that context that G Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Shoulder Surgery) is out for now (and may be able to return for the Postseason). Charlotte’s (200/1 to win NBA Championship, Coral) Roster is very impressive now and should pay off someday and Charlotte Team Manager Rich Cho should be proud of what he’s done of late with this intriguing NBA franchise.


Series Trends, Logical Reasoning and Pick
When these two last met, Lowry had 26 points and 7 assists as the Raptors defeated the Hornets in the last game of the 2014/15 Regular Season, 92-87, to set a franchise-record 49 Wins and head confidently into the Postseason. The Over is a powerful 9-3 ATS the L12 in this series in Charlotte while the Under is 5-2-1 ATS the L8 Hornets games against the Atlantic Division and 20-8 (theUnder) the L28 Raptors games played on a Thursday, but those (Day of the Week) always seem like such random Trends and should always be taken with a grain of of salt or just observed. Five things stand out in this handicap from a Hornets potentially winning POV: 1—The game is in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. 2—The Hornets impressive 10-4 SU record at Home. Charlotte’s Bench seems like a deep, hidden gem and maybe one which can lift this team to the Eastern Conference Finals, whereas the Raptors Bench seems like one a little bit suspect and one which can’t constantly be counted on it seems. 4—Toronto is 1-8 ATS in its L9 against the NBA Southeast, so maybe that extra little bit of travel and having to go to a warmer region affects these Canadian chill boys. 5—And, the Raptors 6-20 ATS (23.1%) over the L26 meetings. One healthy-ass Sample Size too.
With two such solid Defensive-minded teams going toe-to-toe and the host Hornets coming off a Wednesday night game in Orlando against the Magic (PK, 198 Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), this could be a low-scoring dogfight with Charlotte maybe a little tired, but still better equipped overall (Bench-wise) to deal with the Raptors who will be lying in wait in North Carolina after having last played 3 Days earlier on Monday, giving them a huge Rest advantage (2 Days to 0 + Travel back from Florida Wednesday night, albeit short, for Charlotte) here and making an ATS play on the Hornets—formerly the Bobcats—that much more difficult. Little things like that matter, and playing Back-to-Back nights—something that is almost a constant in MLB and an off-and-on thing in the NHL and here in the NBA—is hard, especially if Travel is involved. The Raptors—who have alternated W/L’s ATS over their L8 games—will be (and probably already are) waiting in Charlotte for the Hornets (102.7 ppg, #8 in NBA) and will be relaxing and maybe watching them play the Magic tonight (Wednesday) in preparation while Charlotte has to worry about playing and trying to beat Orlando and then get on a plane and return Home for a game against Toronto. So, one team will be theoretically Tired and Nervous, and the other one Calm and Chill, despite being in a hotel in a foreign country. This could be close because of that Physical-rest dynamic and Toronto’s penchant for playing tough D, things seemingly good for a game in the high 80’s, low 90’s for both teams. And the host Hornets might find a way to get the Win because of their Bench and young and driven players like the aforementioned Hansbrough, Hawes, Hairston, Kaminsky, Lamb and Lin. Watch this Charlotte team in the Postseason should Kidd-Gilchrist be able to return to the lineup. Team owner and NBA legend Michael Jordan might have something brewing here down in the Tar Heel State. Play the Under as your NBA pick.

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