NBA Best Bets on Hump Day
You got to love this period in the NBA. There’s a calming sense of rejuvenation across the league post-All-Star break. Many teams are already in quasi-playoff mode, while a few are all-in on tanking. Either way, it’s hardly a guessing game anymore as motivations are crystal clear. That makes now the perfect time to lay down a few wagers. Here’s our Wednesday night picks, with odds courtesy of Bovada.
Charlotte Hornets at Boston Celtics (-7.5)
For a moment, the sky was falling in Boston. That’s what happens when you lose 10 of 15 games and drop out of first place in the East. However, an All-Star break was just what the doctor ordered.
Since returning, the Celtics (43-19) are unbeaten. Sure, all three wins have come against sub-500 teams, but they’ve come in convincing fashion nonetheless. Now, Boston sits a half-game behind Toronto for the conference’s top spot and host another middling squad in Charlotte.
Both previous meetings favored the Celtics — a three-point win at home followed by a 102-91 triumph at Charlotte. Wednesday’s tilt is the two’s last of the season, however, don’t chalk this up as an easy sweep for Boston.
Few are noticing, but the Hornets (28-33) are red-hot. Last night they crushed the Bulls 118-103 for its fifth straight win. Over the course of that streak, its average margin of victory has been an impressive 13 points a game. Charlotte’s resurgence has them four games behind for the East’s coveted eight seed.
Both teams are currently playing a consistent brand of basketball hinting that this one will be a see-saw battle. We think streaking Charlotte will do enough to cover.
Pick: Charlotte (+7.5)
New Orleans Pelicans at San Antonio Spurs (-5)
Anthony Davis is a national treasure — and not just because of his famed unibrow.
He’s staked his claim as a top-10 player in the league with a historic six-game stretch. During that timeframe, Davis is averaging 41.5 points, 15 rebounds, 3.2 steals, and 3.2 blocks. Two nights ago, Davis recorded a stat line — 50-plus points, 15-plus boards, and five-plus swats — that’s only been done one other time in league history.
During this month alone, Davis has recorded a 40-point, 10-rebound night five times. That’s most by any player in a calendar month in the last 35 seasons.
More importantly, the Pelicans (34-26) have won six consecutive games, muscling themselves up the standings without DeMarcus Cousins. Just like that, Davis has thrust himself into MVP talk.
It’s on LaMarcus Aldridge to cool down Davis on Wednesday. With Pau Gasol doubtful to play, Aldridge will be pulling double duty on The Brow. He’ll have to do a lot better than last time they met when Davis tallied 29 points and 11 rebounds in a 107-90 route by New Orleans.
We’re riding the hot-handed Davis in this one. History tells us he can’t one-up his previous performance, but he’s already defied history more than once in February. What’s one more?
Pick: New Orleans (+5)
Over/under 227 points: Golden State Warriors at Washington Wizards
Even a week after the All-Star break and playing at home, Washington will be playing on tired legs. This will be their fifth game in seven days. Plus, it’s a back-to-back after a down-to-the-wire 107-104 victory at Milwaukee a night ago.
Don’t look now, but the Warriors look like the Warriors again. The Dubs have been on an offensive tear since returning back. In a trio of wins, they’re averaging 123.6 points a game. Looks like they, in fact, do have an “on/off switch.”
While out in Washington DC — a time that was supposed to be reserved for a White House championship visit — Golden State instead went to the museum with students from Kevin Durant’s hometown. Politics aside, the Warriors should be a lot more well-rested than the Wizards come.
While we expect Golden State to pull their weight in the scoring department, the same can’t be said about the Wizards. We expect plenty of fatigue-related sloppiness out of them to keep this game an under.
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