Wednesday, December 18

Charlotte Hornets vs Sacramento Kings, 11:30 am
Hornets +4.5

The 12-14 Kings travel to the 12-17 Hornets laying 4.5 points. I think the spot really favours Charlotte here and will gladly take them as home underdogs.

Sacramento have moved into playoff position in a surprisingly weak west, going 16-10 ATS this season. I think this has overvalued them in the market, especially against a Hornets side that is feisty at home.

It isn’t an ideal spot for Sacramento, with this being the first game on their East Coast trip after a cross-country flight. NBA players tend to struggle in their first game in a new time zone and I see that playing into Charlotte’s hands here.

There is also expected to be a few changes to the Sacramento rotation entering this game. De’Aaron Fox is slated to return from injury, which changes a lot of what the Kings will do offensively. While this will definitely benefit them long term, the short-term adjustment period could lead to some offensive struggles here.

Charlotte are returning home here after a relatively brutal road trip. Their home/road splits are definitely noticeable and I’d expect a more motivated effort here. Especially with the return of Marvin Williams, I also really like where they’re at from a health standpoint.

Ultimately, I think the Kings are somewhat overvalued laying this many points on the road. Charlotte definitely has a chance to win here, but the 4.5 is great insurance if they lose close.

Utah Jazz vs Orlando Magic, 1 pm
Jazz -5.5

The 15-11 Jazz host the 12-14 Magic here, laying 5.5 points. Although this is definitely a major public play, I’ll also back Utah as the home favourites.

They’ve been atrocious ATS this season at just 10-16, which has undervalued them in the eyes of a lot of bettors. They still possess one of the best home court advantages in the NBA, as their 10-3 record this season would indicate.

While they’ve struggled against a few of the top sides, they’ve generally got the job done against weaker teams. With Mike Conley projected to return here, they’ll essentially have all hands on deck to get the job done.

Although they’re still in the East playoff picture, I really haven’t liked what I’ve seen from Orlando this season. Their offence seems to struggle almost every game, which doesn’t bode well against an improving Utah defence.

This also isn’t an ideal spot for them, in the midst of their West Coast road trip. They’ve got a back-to-back in Denver tomorrow, which could result in them throwing in the towel if the margin gets too big.

At just 5.5 points, this line suggests Orlando would be favourites at home against Utah. I think this Jazz side is more talented than that and expect them to register a home win and cover here.