San Antonio Spurs vs. New Orleans Hornets Preview and Pick – 29162

San Antonio Spurs (44-19) +2, 184 at New Orleans Hornets (42-20), 8 pm Eastern Wednesday
by Zman of Predictem.com

It’s a Southwest Division showdown in the Big Easy when the San Antonio Spurs pay a visit to the New Orleans Hornets Wednesday night in NBA action.

Early postings on the NBA betting boards list the Hornets as two-point home favorites over the Spurs, with a total of 184.

San Antonio beat Denver Monday 107-103 as seven-point home favorites, putting a halt to a two-game losing streak. Still, the defending NBA champs have won 16 of their last 19 games and appear to be peaking at just the right time.

Going into Wednesday’s game, San Antonio leads the Southwest Division by one game over the streaking Houston Rockets, and by a game and a half over the third-place Hornets. And the Spurs only trail the Los Angeles Lakers by a half-game in the race for the best record in the Western Conference.

New Orleans lost at Houston Saturday 106-96 as six-point road dogs, breaking a three-game winning streak. And the Hornets are only 5-5 over their last 10 games. So heading into Wednesday’s game, New Orleans sits in fifth place in the West, just two games out of first place but also only 3 games from ninth.

San Antonio has taken two of three games from the Hornets already this season, and the Spurs swept four games from Nawlins last season. So over the last seven meetings between these two teams, played over the last 14 months, San Antonio is 6-1 straight up and 4-3 against the spread. Also, the o/u is 4-3 in those last seven meetings, even though they’ve averaged just 183 total points.

This is the last meeting between these two teams this season, and could decide a tie-breaker come playoff time.

This season, the Spurs are 29-34 against the spread, 17-14 straight up but just 12-19 vs. the numbers on the road.

Meanwhile, New Orleans is one of the best in the league this season at covering the spread, going 38-23 so far vs. the numbers. The Hornets are also 22-10 SU and 19-13 ATS at home.

Statistically speaking, these two teams are very similar. They’re tied for 6th in the league in point differential at +5.0 per game, and tied for 8th in the league in rebounding at +1.5 per game. San Antonio is shooting 45.5% from the field as a team, 38% from 3-point range and 76% from the free-throw line, while New Orleans is shooting 46% from the floor, 39% from long range and 77% from the line.

Also, the Spurs are allowing opponents to shoot 45% from the field, the Hornets 46%.

And the Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com ranks New Orleans 6th in the league at 95.1, San Antonio 7th at 94.8. Sagarin’s current NBA home-court advantage figure is 3.3.

On the injury front, Hornets forward David West has missed the last three games with a bad ankle. But he was upgraded at several outlets Wednesday morning from questionable to probable for Wednesday’s game.

The o/u is 26-37 in Spurs games this season, which are averaging 187 total points (amongst the very lowest in the league), while the totals are 30-31 in New Orleans games, which are averaging 196 points.

Zman’s Pick: Take the Spurs at what is now a pick’em.