NEW ORLEANS HORNETS (12-26)
at BOSTON CELTICS (20-17)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: Boston -7.5, Total: 183.5
The Celtics are looking to win their seventh straight game when they take the floor against the Hornets on Wednesday night.
Boston is 5-1 ATS during its six-game ride, reaching 100+ points in three of the past four victories. But its next challenge is a Hornets team that has won five out of its past six games (SU and ATS). On Tuesday night, New Orleans beat Philadelphia on the road by 12 points, shooting a blistering 53% FG and out-rebounding the Sixers by a 48-32 margin. Hornets PG Greivis Vasquez (14.3 PPG and 9.1 APG) has played well all season, and he’ll come out fiery with a matchup against one of the league’s best point guards, Rajon Rondo.
The Hornets have won three of the past four meetings between these teams SU, and are 7-4 ATS in the past 11 meetings overall, including 3-2 ATS in the past five trips to Boston. New Orleans is 31-17 ATS (65%) as a road underdog in the past two seasons, and the Hornets are also 9-0 ATS after having won three of their past four games in this same timeframe. The pick here is NEW ORLEANS to win ATS.
-->Can the Celtics continue to roll with another big win on Wednesday? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. StatFox Brian is 23-13 ATS (64%) on NBA Best Bets since Dec. 23, giving him a 55% ATS mark (62-51-3) for the season. StatFox Scott has a season Best Bets mark of 53% ATS (53-47), with Gary going 6-4 ATS since Jan. 9 to boost him to 52% ATS for the season. The four experts are collectively 51.0% ATS (232-223-11) on Best Bets for the season. For NBA Totals, Scott continues to have a profitable year at 54-40 (57%) for his season NBA totals, while both Brian and Gary have gone 3-0 in NBA Totals since Sunday.
The Hornets have the third-fewest points in the NBA (92.4 PPG), but they had no trouble scoring in Philadelphia Tuesday night with 111 points on 53% FG and 56% threes (10-for-18). PG Greivis Vasquez scored 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting while also dishing out nine assists in the win. He now has 17.5 PPG (50.4% FG) and 10.4 APG in eight January games this season. SG Eric Gordon looked as healthy as he has in the past two seasons, scoring 19 points on 7-of-13 shots. He had been off the mark all season, shooting just 35.5% FG and 15.6% threes (5-for-32) entering Tuesday's contest. Centers Anthony Davis and Robin Lopez were dominant defensively, totaling five blocks between the two of them in a combined 44 minutes of action. Davis went 4-for-6 FG in the game and is averaging 12.8 PPG and 7.7 RPG on the road this season. He isn’t relying on his jump shot as much as he was in the beginning of the season and he is letting the game come to him, making 58.1% of his shots in the past five contests.
The Celtics have won six straight games and have torched the nets in the past four wins, shooting 50% from the floor. PG Rajon Rondo has carried his team during the six-game ride, averaging 13.8 PPG (51% FG), 9.0 APG and 6.2 RPG, while posting two triple-doubles. He had 17 points, 12 assists and 10 boards in Monday's 100-89 win over Charlotte. SF Paul Pierce has also been hot for Boston over the past two games, averaging 21.0 PPG on 47% FG in those contests. Perhaps the biggest and most unexpected spark for the Celtics during the win streak has been PF Jared Sullinger. The rookie is averaging 9.8 PPG and 9.3 RPG in these six victories, while shooting 62% from the field. His board work is really helping a Celtics team that is 29th in the league in RPG (38.9) and 4th-worst in rebounding margin (minus-3.5 RPG).