PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (1-2)
at NEW ORLEANS HORNETS (2-1)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: New Orleans -1, Total: 180
The Hornets are looking to continue their successful start to this NBA season with a win over the Andrew Bynum-less 76ers on Wednesday night. Absent from this game are New Orleans' two best players -- Anthony Davis (concussion) and Eric Gordon (knee). Jason Richardson and Kwame Brown are out for Philadelphia as both were injured Monday night against the Knicks. The Sixers have failed to reach 90 points in all three games this season, meanwhile the Hornets are 3-0 ATS this season, winning the past two games outright over Utah and at Chicago.
Can the 76ers stop their losing skid facing the improved Hornets? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. Last year, StatFox Dave won 62% ATS Best Bets in the regular season and was 5-0 ATS in the NBA Finals. StatFox Brian finished 59% ATS Best Bets in the 2011-2012 regular season. This season, all four experts are 50% ATS or better in Best Bets. StatFox Scott has started 9-3 (75%) in NBA Totals while StatFox Brian is 10-3 (77%) in NBA Totals.
Philadelphia hasn’t played to its potential this season, especially on the offensive end of the court where the club has scored just 85.3 PPG on 37% FG. But even without Andrew Bynum, the 76ers have shown glimpses of their ability. They win the backcourt matchup over New Orleans with Jrue Holiday (19.3 PPG, 8.7 APG this season) knocking on the door of being an All-Star. However, Holiday will get the best of Greivis Vasquez, who will be the most reliable player on Monty Williams’ young team on the floor in this game. Philly also has great size inside with lengthy 6-foot-8 Thaddeus Young, who is a tremendous athlete, and Spencer Hawes, who can block shots and sink mid-range jumpers despite his 7-foot frame.
The Hornets are undermanned without their franchise cornerstones of Davis and Gordon. They’ve played fantastic basketball early in the year, but they are severely lacking playmakers. Davis was leading their team in scoring with 14.5 PPG, a low number for a team leader. Despite the winning record, New Orleans is scoring just 90.7 PPG on 44% FG. The Hornets will need somebody to step up and make plays, but it seems unlikely they’ll get it from somebody outside of Vasquez who will have trouble getting past Holiday. Ryan Anderson is the likeliest member of the team to step up, but he has been inconsistent to start the year scoring 11 points, 19 points and 12 points, respectively, in the first three games, making just 39.5% FG. For the Hornets to have any shot they’ll need 20 out of Anderson and then contributions from players like Al-Farouq Aminu, who is off to a fast start with 13.3 PPG this year, and Austin Rivers who has struggled severely as a rookie averaging just 6.0 PPG on 20% shooting (5-of-25 FG).