NBA betting: Allen finding his form for Boston

Posted by Pete Wells on 02.10.2010

NBA betting: Allen finding his form for Boston

Injuries are a common theme in tonight’s Celtics-Hornets matchup, as Chris Paul is out and Paul Pierce is questionable. There’s still plenty of star power left, though, including a rising star for New Orleans. Here’s a breakdown of tonight’s NBA odds.

Boston Celtics at New Orleans Hornets
Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Boston -4.5 - bet NBA at Bodog

The Hornets (27-25, 25-27 ATS) have stumbled through a mediocre season. The team closed out January with a very strong 5-2 run but, since then, New Orleans has hobbled to a 1-4 record. The Hornets haven’t been much better on NBA odds, covering two of their past five outings. Worse yet, they’ve been absolutely spanked at home, going 1-7 ATS in their past eight games at New Orleans Arena.

When Chris Paul went down with an injury it signalled disaster. While that’s been true in the Win-Loss column, his replacement has been anything but a disaster. Rookie Darren Collison is averaging 18.3 points and 9.7 assists in Paul’s stead, and he’s had some absolutely massive games (like a 27-point explosion against Orlando and 18-assist game against Memphis). Still, the Hornets are rather average offensively at 100.2 points per game, while their “D” ranks 19th in the NBA at 101.5 points per game.

Boston (32-17, 19-29-1 ATS) has won three of its past four games, but it lost Sunday to Orlando and is just 5-5 in its past 10 games. If you think that’s bad, how does 2-7-1 ATS over its past 10 games sound? Pretty awful if you’re an NBA betting fan who regularly backs the Celtics. Hitting the road might actually do the Celtics some good, as they’ve covered four or their past six away from home.

Ray Allen has elevated his play recently, which is absolutely crucial if Boston is going to right the ship—and a big reason why the team has won three of four. Allen scored 17, 23 and 26 points in the wins, which is a big turnaround from an incredibly ugly January that included five games in which he scored fewer than 10 points. Paul Pierce is questionable tonight with a foot injury. He’s missed two of his last three games and went 1-6 from behind the arc in his last outing. Paul leads Boston in scoring so the sooner he can get healthier, the better. For now, Boston must rely on its defense, which ranks first in the NBA.

Boston has won seven of its past 10 meetings with the Hornets, including a 6-4 record against the point spread. Recent history leans in Boston’s favour too, with the Celtics winning four straight (and covering three of those games).

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