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NBA Gambling: Hornets vs. Celtics Free Pick (Dec. 31)

NBA Odds: New Orleans Hornets vs Boston Celtics Preview & Pick

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Hornets at Celtics Matchup

The New Orleans Hornets and Boston Celtics hope to ring in the New Year with a victory as they hook up Friday night in Boston. Neither team has been playing great over the last week, but they can end 2010 on a high note with a win.

Date: Friday, December 31, 3:00 p.m. ET
Venue: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Broadcast: CST, CSNE
Hornets vs. Celtics lines from Sportsbook.com
Hornets: +5.5
Celtics: Celtics -5.5
Total: 184
Check Out Our Indepth NBA ATS Betting Stats For This Game —>
Bet Now @ Sportsbook.com

After ripping off 14 straight wins, Boston (24-6, 16-13-1 ATS) has lost two of its last three games. The Celtics fell 104-92 in Detroit on Wednesday, dropping them to 1-3 ATS in their last four outings.

The loss wasn’t a big deal compared to the injury news. Kevin Garnett went down with a lower leg injury and missed three quarters against the Pistons; the team isn’t sure how long he’ll miss, but he’ll almost surely sit out against New Orleans. Considering Rajon Rondo is already on the shelf, the Celtics’ starting lineup is beginning to look a little thin.

With those two side lined against Detroit, Paul Pierce stepped up his game. Pierce made 11 of 16 shots for 33 points, and he’ll need to play that well consistently until the regulars get back. Of course, Pierce can be counted out—it’s the rest of the Celtics that are question marks. Online Sports Betting at Sportsbook

Nate Robinson, for example, has struggled in Rondo’s stead. Though Robinson looked great in his first two games of relief, he hasn’t scored in double digits in his past four games, and his shooting has been horrible at times. Robinson isn’t doing a great job distributing the ball, either, posting just 13 assists in his last four games.

New Orleans (18-14, 15-15-2 ATS) has lost back-to-back games and is 2-4 in its last six outings. The Hornets lost 103-88 to the Lakers on Wednesday, failing to cover for the second straight game.

Playing on the road has been a nightmare for the Hornets. They’re 0-6 when traveling in December (1-4-1 ATS), so they’re obviously more excited for the New Year than anybody.

The Hornets have been very good defensively this season, but you wouldn’t know it after watching their loss to the Lakers. Los Angeles shot 58.6 percent from the field and, even with Boston’s injuries, the Hornets will have to play better than that to come out with a victory.

And they should. Given all Boston’s injuries, not to mention the prospect of a New Year on the way, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Celtics take a rare night off. Garnett is the emotional leader of the team and, without him, Boston just won’t have the fire.

Trends:

The total has gone UNDER in 10 of New Orleans’s last 12 games when playing on the road against Boston
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of New Orleans’s last 11 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New Orleans’s last 5 games when playing Boston
The total has gone UNDER in 16 of New Orleans’s last 21 games
Boston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
Boston is 15-2 SU in its last 17 games
Boston is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against New Orleans
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Boston’s last 12 games when playing at home against New Orleans

New Orleans at Boston pick: Hornets

Ian Van Den Hurk has covered amateur and pro sports for years, including a successful run handicapping anything from football to mixed martial arts.

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About Ian Van Den Hurk

Ian Van Den Hurk has covered amateur and pro sports for years, including a successful run handicapping anything from football to mixed martial arts. Looking for more sports betting tips and expert sports handicapping articles from Ian V? We've got your back...


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