NEW ORLEANS HORNETS (19-35)
at CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (16-37)
Tip-off: Tuesday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: Cleveland -2.5, Total: 196.5
In a matchup of the past two No. 1 overall draft picks, Kyrie Irving's Cavaliers will host Anthony Davis' Hornets on Wednesday night.
New Orleans has played pretty well recently with four wins in the past six games (SU and ATS). This includes SU road wins at both five-point favorite Atlanta and 6.5-point favorite Detroit during this stretch. Cleveland entered the All-Star break with three straight home losses, but it did play very well in the last game one week ago, falling to San Antonio by just one point. These teams haven't met this season, but the Hornets have the leg up in the series recently with three straight SU victories (2-1 ATS) with the last two coming in Cleveland.
Which young team will earn the victory on Wednesday? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. For NBA Best Bets, StatFox Scott is in the midst of a monster run, going 18-5 ATS (78%) since Feb. 3, and improving his record to an impressive 57.1% ATS (88-66-1) for the season. The experts are a collective 57% ATS (58-44) in the month of February. StatFox Gary is 64% ATS (7-4) since Feb. 5, and 56.3% ATS (9-7) for the month of February. StatFox Brian is 4-2 ATS (67%) since Feb. 12. For NBA Totals, the experts are a strong 47-37-1 (56%) in the past 21 days with Gary at 18-11 (62%) and StatFox Brian going 15-12-1 (56%) since Jan. 25. For the season, Scott is a whopping 56.3% (76-59) in Totals, while Gary is at 52% (69-64-4).
Cleveland star PG Kyrie Irving (23.5 PPG, 6th in NBA) is happy to be back on the court, looking to erase his woeful 2-for-15 shooting night in last week's loss to San Antonio. He's looking to take momentum from a memorable All-Star Weekend where he scored 32 points in the Rising Stars Challenge, winning the 3-Point shooting contest and then posting a solid 15 points in his first All-Star game. Irving also let his team down in his lone meeting against the Hornets last season, when he scored just six points on 2-of-13 shooting. PF Tristan Thompson has been helping out with the scoring lately, averaging 15.6 PPG on 53% FG in his past 14 games. But a bigger question mark for Cleveland is the team's defense that is allowing 105.6 PPG on 51% FG in the past eight games.
Anthony Davis has strung together two straight tremendous games, posting 21 points and 11 rebounds in last Wednesday's win over the Blazers and starting the second half of the season off with 15 points and 10 rebounds in Tuesday's loss to Chicago. But the Hornets will need to improve upon their dismal 4-of-17 shooting from three-point range against the Bulls if they are to pull off the mild upset in this game. It certainly doesn't help that SG Eric Gordon will not play in this game as the second part of a back-to-back. Gordon scored 20 in Tuesday's loss and is 15-for-30 from downtown in his career versus Cleveland. Despite the lack of offense, the Hornets defense has been outstanding in the past three games, allowing just 81.7 PPG. They have also dominated the paint during the three-game series win streak, outscoring Cleveland by 13.4 points in the paint in this stretch.