Stephen Nover Free Saturday NBA Play

On February 4, 2017, in Free Picks, NBA, by Stephen

Jazz minus 7 1/2 hosting Hornets

The Hornets are a below .500 team that plays in the Eastern Conference – making their 23-27 record look even worse – has trouble on the road and lacks consistent scoring behind Kemba Walker.

And that’s when the Hornets are healthy.

The Hornets are far from healthy here and they are playing in their third straight road game against a well-rested Jazz team in action for just the second time in seven days.

Charlotte has to take on the league’s No. 1 defensive team – both in scoring defense and defensive field goal percentage – with Walker questionable to play because of illness, main backup guard Ramon Sessions doubtful with a sore knee and center Cody Zeller out due to a quad injury.

Zeller doesn’t draw much accolades, but the Hornets are 1-11 without him this season. Charlotte is thin at center after dealing big men Spencer Hawes and Roy Hibbert to Milwaukee. The Hornets are going to start Frank Kaminsky at center against Rudy Gobert in a mismatch of monster proportions.

Gobert may be the most underrated big man in basketball. He’s posted 33 double-doubles this season. Gobert leads the league in blocks, is No. 2 in field goal percentage behind DeAndre Jordan – who’s shooting range is two feet – and fifth in rebounding. Gobert will be aided on the boards by Derrick Favors, expected to play after missing the past two games.

Walker played in Charlotte’s last game, a 126-111 loss to Golden State this past Wednesday. Walker, though, clearly wasn’t 100 percent. He may have had his worst game of the season connecting for just one field goal and scoring seven points, 15 below his season average.

The Hornets are 4-11-1 ATS during their last 16 road matchups and 7-18-2 ATS when going against foes with a winning home mark. There is nothing here to suggest the Hornets can stay within single-digits of Utah.


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