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Warriors vs Hornets NBA Pick – Jan 19th

The Memphis Grizzlies got back on track last night, cruising to an easy home win over Sacramento and helping us cash in another NBA winner.  Tonight, we will explore a good road team visiting a less-than-spectacular opponent, and see if the opportunity is as good as it appears on the surface…

It’s a packed day in sports; the return on the NHL, a spectacular day of college hoops, as well as a packed NBA slate.  So without further delay, let’s get to tonight’s hopeful winner…

Golden State Warriors at New Orleans Hornets -5 (Total: 188)          

The Warriors have cooled off a bit lately, settling more into the secondary group of Western Conference teams (Portland, Denver, Utah, Minnesota… possibly even the Lakers) after making a run at the big dogs early in the season.  Mark Jackson’s squad has dropped three in a row and five of their last six.  So have the wheels completely come off in the Bay Area??

Well, not so fast.  As I preach here almost daily, schedule, schedule, schedule.  As in, look not just at results, but at WHOM teams have played.  Are the Warriors as good as their 22-10 start?  Probably not.  But are they as bad as they’ve looked the last two weeks?   Nope.  Plenty of good teams can lose to the Heat and Memphis at home.  Even more teams lose the trifecta of road games that includes San Antonio, Denver and the Clippers.

In short, the losing streak is not THAT big of a deal from a wagering perspective.  It simply means they are not a Top 5 team in the NBA.  I think most of us already knew that anyhow.

So tonight, they are getting a whopping five points visiting a team with a 13-26 record and just a 6-13 home record.  Granted, many of those games were without top draft pick Anthony Davis.  But while Davis is a difference maker, he isn’t THAT big of a difference maker at this point in his young career.

This line jumps out at me as one of the odder lines of the season.  Perhaps it is a little inflated from the well-publicized win at Boston earlier in the week because rookie Austin Rivers got a win over Daddy, but let’s not get too carried away with the Hornets.

Golden State hasn’t lost against many sub-.500 teams this season and New Orleans has beaten many good ones.  Tonight’s line requires they not only do that, but do it with some room to spare.

I like the Warriors and the fat five point cushion.

Free Pick:  Golden State Warriors +5