Celtics at Bobcats Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 3/12/2013
Last year the Charlotte Bobcats made a case for being the worst team in NBA history. They didn't set the league record for most losses, which is 73 set by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers. The only reason the Bobcats likely avoided that was because the 2011-12 season was just 66 games long. Charlotte finished with a 23-game losing streak and a 7-59 mark, a .106 winning percentage that was the worst ever.
I mention this because this year's team might actually be worse right now. Things actually started promising for Michael Jordan's club -- which, incidentally, likely won't be called Bobcats much longer, with Hornets available again thanks to New Orleans' nickname switch to Pelicans starting next season. Charlotte started 7-5 but then reeled off an 18-game losing streak. The Bobcats have gone 6-45 since that 12-game beginning and enter Tuesday's game against Boston on a 10-game skid.
Celtics at Bobcats Betting Story Lines
The Bobcats aren't just losing, they are getting blown off the court. One game -- one! -- in this losing streak has been decided by single digits, and that was loss No. 1, 105-99 at home against the Pistons. Since then, losses to Chicago by 30, to Denver by 14, at the Clippers by 22, at Utah by 30, at Sacramento by 36 (Sacramento!), at Portland by 17, vs. Brooklyn by 21, vs. Oklahoma City by 22 and Saturday at Washington by 17. The Wizards never trailed against a team they were 0-2 against this season.
How bad are things right now? Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap actually chose to start the immortal Josh McRoberts on Saturday over Byron Mullens to improve the team's rebounding. Yeah, that didn't work. The 6-foot-10 McRoberts had two more rebounds than I did in 22 minutes. Charlotte was pounded on the boards 45-32 and is one of the worst rebounding teams in the league (and scoring offense .. and scoring defense ... and assists ... you get the drill).
Charlotte has played the past two games without one of its best players, point guard Ramon Sessions (14.4 points per game). He's out at least a few more weeks with a sprained MCL. I really don't understand why the Bobcats didn't trade both Sessions and guard Ben Gordon before the deadline -- maybe they tried and couldn't find any takers, although I doubt that. The Bobcats do have two nice young pieces in Kemba Walker (17.3 points, 5.6 assists) and 2012 No. 2 overall pick Michael-Kidd Gilchrist (9.0 ppg, 5.6 rebounds per game), but neither is a star. You don't win in the NBA without a true star, and the Bobcats aren't likely to get one in this year's weak draft class.
The Celtics are looking to crack the Top 4 in the East and get home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. They are currently No. 6, 2.5 games behind No. 4 Brooklyn. Boston had a five-game winning streak snapped in Sunday's 91-79 loss at Oklahoma City in Jeff Green's first game in OKC since his trade to Boston. The Cs shot just 37.7 percent against OKC but are still an excellent 14-5 since Rajon Rondo was lost for the season.
Boston beat Charlotte 100-89 in Beantown on Jan. 14 as an 11-point favorite behind a triple-double from Rondo. The Celtics scored 13 of the game's first 15 points and never trailed. The Bobcats had two wins in February, and one of them was against Boston, 94-91 in Charlotte on Feb. 11 as 4.5-point underdogs. That ended Boston's seven-game winning streak at the time and was its first defeat since Rondo was lost. That was also the game Celtics key reserve guard Leandro Barbosa was lost for the season with his own knee injury. Mullens had the best game of his career for Charlotte with 25 points and 18 rebounds as it snapped a seven-game losing streak. You could see that loss coming for Boston as it beat Denver in a draining triple-overtime thriller the day before. It also happens to be Charlotte's last home win.
Celtics at Bobcats NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, Boston is a 11.5-point favorite with the total at 190.5. The Celtics are 28-31-3 ATS this season (12-18-1 on road) and 30-31-1 “over/under” (15-16 on road). The Bobcats are 20-42-1 ATS (9-22 at home) and 28-34-1 O/U (16-14-1 at home).
Boston is 5-1 ATS in its past six games. The Cs have covered just four of their past 14 after a loss. They are 1-5 ATS in their past six road games vs. teams with a losing home record. Charlotte is 0-9 ATS in its past nine after an ATS loss. The Bobcats are 0-4 ATS in their past four games playing on two days of rest. The over is 5-1 in Boston's past six after a loss. The under is 6-0-1 in Charlotte's past seven vs. Atlantic Division teams. Boston has covered only two of the past eight meetings.
Celtics at Bobcats Picks and Betting Predictions
This could be a trap game for Boston as the Cs get to return home for three games starting Wednesday night against Toronto. It's just too easy to lower the effort level a bit after playing an NBA title contender like the Thunder. The Bobcats should be much more competitive after having two days off following six games in eight nights. They won't win, but take the points and the under.
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