Boston Celtics (43-29) vs. Charlotte Hornets (32-39)
Saturday, March 23, 2019 @ 6:00 pm ET (Spectrum Center)
Lines and Odds: Celtics -3 Over/Under: 222
ESPN NBA Expert Picks Charlotte Hornets vs. Boston Celtics
In tonight’s Eastern Conference match-up, the 5th seed Boston Celtics are playing against the 10th seed Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center. The Celtics are 26-11 at home and 17-18 on the road. Boston has won six of their last ten games, ranking 3rd in the Atlantic Division. However, the team is now on a two-game losing streak. On March 20, they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers 118-115 on the road. Boston is aiming to bump the 44-29 Indiana Pacers for the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, the Hornets are 22-15 at home and 10-24 away. Ranking 3rd in the Southeast Division, Charlotte has won four of the last ten games on their schedule. On March 21, the team beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 113-106 at home. In the last ten meetings head to head, the Celtics are a dominating 9-1 against the Hornets. They averaged a higher field goal percentage of 49.64%, and out-rebounded Charlotte 45.50 to 42. From beyond the three-point arc, the C’s shot 126/322, whereas the Hornets shot 92/300 over the course of these games.
The Charlotte Hornets are ranked 20th in scoring offense, averaging 110.4 points per game. Their offensive efficiency rating is 1.072, which ranks 14th in the NBA. Kemba Walker is leading the team for points, assists, and steals per game. He averages 25 points, 5.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Acquiring 6.8 rebounds per game, Cody Zeller is ahead in this metric. With an accuracy of 55.1% shooting, Zeller has the highest field goal percentage on the team as well. Bismack Biyombo is earning at least 1 block per game. In 71 games played and started, Kemba Walker is also averaging the most minutes played, with 34.8 minutes on the court. In 70 games played and 69 started, Nicolas Batum’s MPG is 32.1 minutes. According to the injury report, both Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Cody Zeller were downgraded to “OUT” for tonight’s game against the Boston Celtics. The Hornets losing Zeller is a significant loss; he is earning 10 points per game. For scoring defense based opponents’ points per game, Charlotte allows their opponents to score 111.5 points each game, ranking 17th overall. The team’s defensive efficiency rating is 1.082 and it ranks 21st. Furthermore, the Hornets are ranked 7th for free throw shooting at 79.3%. They average 80.6% at home, but shoot 77.8% from the free throw line on the road.
The Boston Celtics rank 12th for scoring offense, averaging 112.7 points per game. Their offensive efficiency rating is 1.091, which ranks 8th in the league. Kyrie Irving is leading the team for points and assists per game. He averages 23.9 points and 7 assists per game. Marcus Smart is earning 1.8 steals per game. Al Horford is ahead for rebounds and blocks. Horford acquires 6.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. In 60 games played and started, Kyrie Irving is averaging 33.1 minutes. In 71 games played and started, with 31.2 minutes per game, Jayson Tatum is not far behind Irving. Upon further review of the injury report, Al Horford and Aron Baynes are listed “OUT” for tonight’s game against the Charlotte Hornets. Not to mention, due to a neck injury, Gordon Hayward was downgraded to “doubtful.” Hayward is earning 10.8 points per game. So, needless to say, the C’s will be shorthanded regardless. For scoring defense, Boston allows 107.7 points per game, ranking 7th in this metric. The Celtics’ defensive efficiency rating is 1.042 and it ranks 6th. Additionally, the Celtics rank 3rd for free throw shooting at 80.6%. The C’s average 80.3% at home and 81% away.
Cover the Spread 365 Betting Trends
Charlotte is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 games
Charlotte is 4-9 SU in its last 13 games
Charlotte is 1-6-1 ATS in its last 8 games at home
Charlotte is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games at home
Charlotte is 1-8-1 ATS in its last 10 games when playing Boston
Boston is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Boston’s last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Boston’s last 14 games on the road
Boston is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Charlotte
Boston is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games when playing Charlotte
ESPN NBA Scores Boston Celtics vs. Charlotte Hornets
Now, these two playoff contenders are top 10 free throw shooting teams. However, Boston is still superior percentage-wise. For 3 point shooting, the Celtics rank 6th at 36.4%, while the Hornets rank 21st at 34.9%. After team shooting percentage is analyzed, Boston ranks 12th at 46.5%, whereas Charlotte ranks 26th at 44.7%. When total rebounding percentage is calculated, these teams are similar. Boston has recovered 49.3% of their missed shot attempts and Charlotte’s total rebounding rate is 49.9%. The Celtics and Hornets are top 3 in the NBA for the fewest turnovers per game. The Hornets allow 12.6 turnovers per game; Boston has 13 turnovers per game. Then, there’s personal fouls. Charlotte is ranked 3rd for the fewest personal fouls, committing 19.5 per game. Boston commits 20.5 personal fouls per game, ranking 10th. Leading into this game, both teams are missing key players. While the Hornets could still potentially claim the 8th seed, the Celtics are also fighting for a better playoff spot. All in all, the C’s are the better basketball team for scoring offense and defense. They should be favored against the Hornets.
Pick: Celtics -3 (-109)