Charlotte Hornets forward Cody Martin
Charlotte Hornets forward Cody Martin (11) chases down a loose ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Matt Kelley)

SGG PICKS OF THE DAY, Dec. 17

Nathan Hursh

Heat at Magic under 208.5 (FD -110)
For this matchup tonight, the Heat will be without Jimmy Butler, a key contributor to both the Heat’s offense and defense. Luckily for them, their defense shouldn’t be compromised too much as they get to face the Magic, whose 101.3 points per game is the third-lowest average in basketball. Offensively, the Magic have scored less than 100 points in three of their last five games. The Heat have scored less than 102 points in three of their last five. I believe tonight will be a low-scoring contest. 208.5 is a low total but I would not be surprised if each team scored less than 100 points tonight.

Warriors -3.5 at Celtics (FD -115)
I don’t know when we’re going to quit disrespecting Golden State. As of right now, the Warriors are tied with the Suns for the best record in basketball (23-5). The Celtics are a .500 team. I get that Boston got Jaylen Brown back which is huge for them. I get that they are hosting a west coast team at home. I also get that the Celtics have as many home wins (7-4) as they do road wins in six fewer games (7-10). None of this phases me. The Warriors are simply the better team right now. They will take care of business. Even if you are not a fan of the -3.5 point spread, taking the Warriors money line at -162 still provides nice value.

Hornets at Trail Blazers over 227.5 (FD -108)
Honestly, at this point, taking any Hornets game over is sort of law for me. This game is no different. In three of their last five, Charlotte has scored at least 120 points. In four of their last five, they’ve allowed at least 115 points. The Trail Blazers themselves have struggled lately, losing seven straight games. During that losing streak, they have averaged just over 100 points per game. The injury of CJ McCollum has hampered this team, there is no doubt. That said, the perfect antidote to fixing a shooting slump is playing the Hornets. Both teams will score many points tonight. I like the over.

SGP Odds +4436


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