The NBA season has reached the first quarter mark post, and things have gone largely as expected. Miami, Oklahoma City, San Antonio have played well. The bottom-feeders, Cleveland, Sacramento and Washington have struggled, and most of the middle of the pack’ers have played accordingly.
The surprises so far this season (aside from the New York revival) have come out west. Memphis appears to be a legit challenger for the title (though put me in the “show me in May” camp) and the Clippers have threatened to usurp Los Angeles from the more glamorous Lakers. But perhaps the biggest pleasant surprise, and one that is garnering very little attention, is taking place north of Los Angles up in the Bay Area with the Golden State Warriors.
The enter tonight’s game at 13-7 and in solid playoff position. If the season ended tonight, they’d be locked in the 4/5 matchup with the aforementioned Clippers and dreaming of the second round of the playoffs for the first time since Baron Davis and company led their miraculous upset of the top-seeded Mavericks.
So what’s going on in Golden State and why the sudden change in fortune? Let’s dig inside tonight’s matchup and take a closer look…
Golden State Warriors -4.5 at Charlotte Bobcats (Total: 203)
One of the biggest changes in the Warriors’ fortune has been their play on the road. They are 6-3 this season, including wins at Brooklyn and Dallas. They have won eight of ten overall and are a fantastic 12-7-1 against the spread this season.
Meanwhile things are bottoming out quickly in Charlotte. Their promising start is fading away to a familiar nightmare as they have lost seven straight games. The frightening thing is that tey seem to be getting farther away from respectable rather than “almost there.” They have lost their last two games at home by a combined 45 points, and now they are hosting one of the hottest teams in the league in Golden State. I don’t like their chances of snapping out of the funk tonight, nor of them having anything close to the defensive temerity to slow down the potent Warrior offense.
Golden State has a low plus/minus point differential given their record (just 0.5), but Charlotte’s is downright terrible at -7.2. Home or away, it hasn’t mattered much lately for the Bobcats, they just keep getting handily beat.
I know this is the third time we’ve gone to the “bet against the Bobcat” well this week, but it seems to be working pretty effectively. Until MJ’s Bobcats snap out of the malaise or the Vegas lines start really widening, I am going to keep riding their losing train to profitability.
Free Pick: Golden State Warriors -4.5