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Charlotte vs Washington

The NBA's Southeast division is one of great parity this season as four of the five teams in the division still have a legitimate shot at the division title and none of them have an overall record of .500. Charlotte and Washington are two of those four teams that are currently within at least 3.5 games of 1st place Miami, and suddenly a year where a team like Washington expected to be in tank mode, has the organization re-evaluating their position.

Washington has won four of their last six to climb closer in the race, but one of those two recent losses did come against this Charlotte team. Will the Hornets be able to knock off Washington again and improve their own standing, or will the Wizards get some measure of revenge and get that much closer to the top spot. Odds: Washington (-3.5); Total set at 233.5

The 112-111 Charlotte win at home exactly a week ago over the Wizards was a game that saw quite a few swings. It was Charlotte who jumped out to a 10-point lead after the first 12 minutes, only to end up trailing by one at the break. From there, the game was back-and-forth the entire way, but it was Charlotte's 30-28 victory in the 4th quarter that allowed them to get that one-point win.

That was the second straight time in 2019 that Charlotte has knocked off the Wizards, as Washington's lone win in the season series came just before the New Year. It's been a rivalry that has often favored the home team though, with the home team going 8-1 SU in the last nine meetings (7-2 ATS), and that run has something to do with Washington garnering about 70% of the action so far today according to the betting percentages up at

Washington's players have seemingly had an inspirational shift the past month or so when they realized that the playoffs were still a possibility this year. Everyone assumed that when John Wall was lost for the year, Washington's season was done, but with no division rival pulling away, and Washington starting to hit their stride and take advantage of a favorable schedule, this team could end up making a real push for this division title.

Including tonight's game, five of the next six for Washington are at home, and only two of those opponents (Utah, Denver) currently have a winning record. A win tonight could be doubled up hosting Memphis tomorrow night, with a trip to see the lowly Chicago Bulls being their only road game in this stretch. In fact, the entire rest of the schedule for Washington is rather soft, as this could be one of the best teams to back for the next month or so. And that's precisely what I'm doing tonight, as I'm not one to typically join up with the majority of the market, but with the Wizards looking to make a push, and Charlotte in a free fall, backing the home team yet again in this rivalry appears to be the way to go.

Charlotte has dropped seven of their last nine overall and a 1-7-1 ATS record during that stretch is tough to even consider putting betting units down on them. Opponents have finally accepted that Charlotte's really just a one-man show with Kemba Walker, and if you stop/contain him, you're going to have a great shot at knocking off the Hornets. Washington was able to do that last week in their one-point loss – Walker had 18 points on 6-for-19 shooting – but it was a 30-point night from Marvin Williams (thanks to 7-of-10 from three-point land) that saved Charlotte in that contest.

Out on the road, you have to figure that Williams won't be knocking down shots like that again tonight, and the rest of Kemba's supporting cast may not show up either. At 9-23 SU away from home, Charlotte is no stranger to dropping games on the highway, and with a 3-8 ATS run going after having 3+ days off, this organization has had trouble shaking off rust as well.

Throw all of that on top of the great success the home team has had in this rivalry, and Washington's 4-0 ATS run at home, 6-0 ATS run against another losing team, and Charlotte's 3-13 ATS run on the road against a winning home team, and the point spread of -3.5 starts to look a little short.

If it wasn't for that horrible 1st quarter in that meeting a week ago, Washington would have run away with that game, and that's likely what we end up seeing tonight.

Odds per -

Best Bet: Washington -3.5

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