|9 CHA (-104) @ pinnacle|
9* Take Charlotte (#505)
The Hornets are one of my favorite types of teams down the stretch of an NBA season. Charlotte is a small market squad, not a hyped team. They have no superstars, and their two biggest ‘name’ players – Gordan Hayward and LaMelo Ball – aren’t going to suit up today. Bench sparkplug Malik Monk isn’t going to play either. This team is an afterthought for many NBA fans and bettors – a team that continues to hold their value despite consistently playing above betting market expectations.
Charlotte is 5-2 SU, 6-1 ATS in their last seven games since Ball got hurt. That includes a 4-1 SU and ATS mark on the highway, including outright upsets at Indiana and San Antonio. Head coach James Borrego wasn’t too worried about the injuries after the win against the Pacers on Friday: “This is what our season has been about (balanced offense and bench production). We’re built for this.”
The Celtics are one of my favorite types of teams to bet AGAINST down the stretch of an NBA season. Boston is the opposite of Charlotte in many regards – major market, ample hype, on TV all the time, multiple All Stars – and they’ve been the opposite of Charlotte against the spread as well, a consistent money loser. Boston is only 5-8 SU since the All Star Break, but even that dismal record should come with an asterisk: four of the five wins came against true bottom feeders Houston, Orlando and OKC. Against ‘competitive’ foes, Boston isn’t winning at all, let alone winning by any sort of margin. Throw in Boston’s 8-15 ATS mark coming off a win, like the one they had against the Rockets on Friday. And the case for Charlotte is perfectly clear whether Jaylen Brown suits up for the Celtics or not. Take the Hornets.
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