NBA Picks Of The Day: Two Exceptional Plays Available On Short Slate

Jordan Sharp

Saturday, April 23, 2016 11:40 AM GMT

Saturday, Apr. 23, 2016 11:40 AM GMT

I got off the mat and kicked the bookie’s ass last night to push us above .500 for the playoffs. I am ready to get to winning here on Saturday with two games worthy of your NBA picks. 

Heat vs. Hornets Teaser Pick
For the Hornets Game 3 against the Heat, I can think of no better game to teaser than this one. The loss of Nicolas Batum is huge for this team on both ends of the court, yet the sportsbooks undervalue that loss in the NBA odds, opening up the Hornets as -2 ½ favorites in Charlotte, with a total of 200 ½.

Charlotte is a good team, don’t get me wrong. I endorsed them in Game 1 though and they burned me, and now seeing them down another important piece, I have to switch allegiances. I was kind of hoping the NBA Odds wouldn’t favor them so much in Game 3 so I could back them, but -2 ½ down their second most important player is not helpful.

Al Jefferson had a flashback game in Game 2, but that likely won’t happen again as long as Hassan Whiteside gets to guard him more. What’s important for this game and out pick however is the Hornets ability to play defense at home. They haven’t showed it yet during these playoffs, but they are a good defensive team, and they lock down on teams who come into Time Warner Arena.

During the regular season, the Hornets’ Defensive Rating on the road was 104.4 points per 100 possessions. However, when they moved home, that number dropped to 99.2, which was the 6th best mark in the entire league. Charlotte is in desperation mode tonight. They are going to bring every bit of defense they have to this game, but the problem is that won’t be enough to win it.

Without Batum, all the Heat have to do is let anyone but Kemba Walker beat them. The Hornets were already struggling to find scoring options in this series, and now that Batum is out it hurts them both in facilitating and scoring. To make it safer, I am teasing up the Heat to +6 ½ and putting them with the under in this teaser.

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Free NBA Pick: 2-team teaser: Heat +6 ½ & UNDER 204 ½
Best Line Offered: at Intertops

 

Thunder vs. Mavericks
After three games of this series, it looks as if the Thunder have figured out how to push the pace and stay efficient on offense. The Mavs put up a good fight, but this series will be over by Game 5. That being said, we still have to play Game 4 here tonight, and I think the NBA Odds hold some nice value in this one. Right now the sportsbooks have the Thunder as -9 road favorites in this one, but it is the total of 202 ½ that I have my eye on.

We talked about it before that Game 3, but the Thunder got mad and it showed. Much like m last night, they shoved aside all the bullshit and dropped 131 points in route to a win. While I doubt they have that many, I think we are done seeing the slower paced Mavericks. Without a viable option at point guard with Deron Williams likely out again, the Mavs have little choice but to try and play up in pace. We saw a pace of over 95 in Game 3, and I think we see that style of game again.

However, the sportsbooks have been slow to catch up, and still have the total at 202 ½. The number has gone up a point from where it opened, but it is still a little low. The Thunder have now cashed the over in five of their last six games dating back to the regular season, and I think they carry that into Dallas again tonight. This series has gotten chippy, but the Thunder are still going to push the pace and drop at least 110 to 115 points in this one. Add the over to your NBA picks in this one.

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Free NBA Pick: OVER 203
Best Line Offered: at Heritage 

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