Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:15 PM EST.
7:00 PM EST. The Hornets have won three of four and overall, they’re 19-8 at home, which all works in our favor here because results influence the number more than performances. A close look reveals that Charlotte’s three wins over its last four games occurred against the Knicks, Memphis and Chicago. One can get into a lot of bad habits playing that trio. As a 12-point choice over the Knicks, the game was tied going to the fourth quarter. Charlotte eventually won by nine. Against the Bulls and Memphis, Charlotte covered both games, each by a half point but had you bet Charlotte in any one of those three games, you likely would have sold your bets for 10 cents on the dollar with five minutes remaining in each. In fact, against the Bulls, the Hornets were down by as many as 14 points and against the Grizz, the Hornets were stuck 16 at one point in the first half. In between those three games, the Hornets faced the Celtics and were buried by 32 points. Combine all of the above and it strongly suggests how poorly the Hornets are playing.
The last time the market saw the Clippers was on Super Bowl Sunday when they were getting their rear ends handed to them in Toronto. That was a 3:00 PM EST time and it was the last sporting event on the board before the Super Bowl. The point is that there were boatloads of parlays bet that included the Clippers/Raps game onto the Super Bowl. The Clip Joints’ weak effort likely resonated in a market that over values what it last witnessed. The Raps were a 10 or 10½-point favorite that day and went gate to wire, led by double digits practically the entire way and won by 18 points. We’re not going to put emphasis on a Sunday afternoon game in Toronto but what we know for sure is that with those recent results and with Danilo Gallinari still on the rack, L.A.’s stock is low.
Last week, the Clips threw an absolute dud on the board against the lowly Hawks at home. In between that game and the Raptors game on Sunday, the Clip Joint was saved from utter ruin by a historic come from behind victory against the Pistons. They trailed by 25 in that one. A three-point overtime loss to the other L.A. team was really a game given up, as the Clip Joint went 14-of-26 from the free throw line. The fact that the Clips could win that game without their second leading scorer (and the return of the best player in the NBA) shows that this team has talent across the board and we’re going to trust them to bounce back and show up here and get it done against a very beatable host. Show up against the Hornets (like the C’s did among others) and you beat them. The Clippers are above .500 on the road so it’s not like they aren’t capable. They are.
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L.A. Clippers +146 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.92)