Don't look now but the Hornets have been one of the hotter teams in the NBA recently. Will they be able to keep it going as two-point NBA odds-on favorites at home against Washington?
The Hornets have been playing great basketball lately and that's why they're favored in NBA odds tonight against a solid Washington team here tonight. At the moment they're laying two points on their own court, where they've won two in a row heading into this evening. There are some books out there that have a line of one and a half.
On the total side of things, we see a number of 189.5 on the board, so we should be in for a defensive battle. Indeed, both Charlotte and Washington are ranked in the top 10 in terms of fewest points allowed per game.
There seems to be no stopping the Hornets right now, as they've reeled off five consecutive victories to really make a push in the Eastern Conference standings. They're 28-33 overall now, which puts them in the seventh seed in the East, a half game up on both Indiana and Miami.
It's a run that's coincided with the arrival of Mo Williams from Minnesota. The point guard has been an integral part of Charlotte's success over the last couple of weeks, dishing out at least seven assists in all five of the victories in the winning streak. On March 3rd Williams dished out 13 assists against the Lakers and the next day he handed out 14 dimes in a road victory over Brooklyn. He's been a terrific addition.
But, what will happen when Kemba Walker returns, which seems likely to happen this week? Steve Clifford has already said that he plans to play Walker and Williams together, which makes a lot of sense considering how good both players are. Either way, the Hornets are in a great spot right now and are getting healthy and finding their groove at the perfect time.
While the Hornets are on the up and up, the Wizards have been going through some trying times recently. At one point in the season they were 31-15, but they've since gone 4-13 over their last 17 games to drop to 35-28 on the season.
It wasn't all that long ago that Washington was challenging for the top seed in the East, but now they've dropped to fifth and have got some teams hot on their tail too. That being said, you wouldn't want to count out the Wizards, as they've got the talent in place to survive this rough stretch and regain their swagger. They recently got Bradley Beal back and that will be a big boost, while Marcin Gortat has been playing great basketball as of late, being one of the few bright spots in the nation's capital.
We last saw Washington take the court on Saturday in a road loss to Milwaukee. The Wizards couldn't stop Khris Middleton (30 points) and weren't nearly as efficient offensively as they would have liked. They will run into another challenge tonight against a resurgent Charlotte squad.
Conventional wisdom may tell us to take Washington, as they're proven to be the better team throughout the course of the season.
However, momentum is hugely important to consider when making NBA picks and the Hornets have plenty of that going for them right now. Meanwhile, the Wizards have really been struggling in recent weeks and haven't looked nearly as sound on either end of the court. That's enough reason to fade until they show signs of snapping out of this funk.
So, at a very attractive price on their home court, we like Charlotte a lot in this spot. We think the Hornets are the right play with your NBA picks on Monday evening.
NBA Pick: Charlotte Hornets -1.0 at Pinnacle