Free NBA Picks for October 20, 2017 by Professor MJ



University Professor. PhD in stats. Proud dad of 2 boys.



Hi NBA fans! So far we are 3-0 with picks rated 3 stars or above versus 0-1 on those rated 2 stars or less. We have 10 games on the menu, and I only see one value play.

PICK: Charlotte Hornets -4 vs Atlanta Hawks (rated 3 stars)

The only thing I don’t like about this game is the reverse line move that we have observed: the spread opened at 6, and has now gone down to 4 despite 54% of the bets going Atlanta’s way. I haven’t heard of any major injury update during the day, so we can only explain it on sharp money going on the Hornets. I rarely go against that, but I will make an exception today.

I like the fact that Dwight Howard will be facing his former team, an additional motivation for Charlotte. He was traded in exchange for Miles Plumlee who is out until November because of a strained right quad.

The Hawks have not had much success in Charlotte recently, having lost the last three matchups there (5 of the past 6). Over the past 8 meetings overall, the Hornets are 5-2-1 against the spread.

Charlotte’s bench is not as deep with injuries to Cody Zeller, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Michael Carter-Williams, not to mention starter Nicolas Batum. On the Hawks’ side, they are thin up front with Plumlee’s injury.

Perhaps the public is overreacting to recent results, as the Hawks upset the Mavericks 117-111 in Dallas, while the Hornets lost by a 12-point margin in Detroit. I expect the Hornets to be much more focused after committing 17 turnovers in their opening game (which is a big surprise considering they have finished first in the league each of the past four seasons for the fewest giveaways in the league!). Take the Hornets.

Have a nice Friday night!

Professor MJ

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