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New Orleans Pelicans vs. Boston Celtics NBA Betting Prediction from Stephen Nover: January 16th 2018

| January 16, 2018

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Boston Celtics
NBA Betting Prediction: Celtics -4.5 (January 16th 2018)

Brad Stevens may be the best coach in the NBA with the possible exception of Gregg Popovich. So it’s not a huge surprise the Celtics own the best point spread mark in the league at 27-15-2 (64%).  Boston has won seven in a row. The Celtics are extremely well rested having last played on Thursday in London and draw New Orleans with the spread opening smaller than I thought it would.  The Celtics’ No. 1 ranked defense surrenders nearly 14 points fewer points per game than New Orleans. Boston catches the Pelicans off a big comeback overtime road victory against the Knicks this past Sunday. All but one of New Orleans’ starters, Rajon Rondo, logged more than 44 minutes in that game. Anthony Davis played nearly 50 minutes. This marks the Pelicans’ thrid game in five days. New Orleans is at Atlanta on Wednesday. So if his team falls far behind, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry just may keep his starters out the rest of the way in order to rest them for tomorrow in a far more winnable situation.  This is just Boston’s second game in 11 days. So perhaps there could be a rust factor. But I believe Stevens will have his team fresh, well-prepared and raring to play again. The Celtics have had four full days to recover since returning from London. They practiced on Saturday and Monday. The extended time off has allowed Al Horford and Jayson Tatum to recover from their knee injuries. Both are expected to play here.  Davis and DeMarcus Cousins can present matchup difficulties. Stevens has the coaching acumen and versatile roster to combat this, however. Think unsung center Aron Baynes. Stevens versus Gentry is a huge coaching mismatch in Boston’s favor.  The Celtics have defeated the Pelicans in five of the last six meetings, including the past three at TD Garden.

(Editor’s note: Stephen Nover is recognized as one of the top basketball ‘cappers in the country with the record to prove it. Stephen is 135-99-5 on his last 239 NBA plays and is on a 63 percent college basketball run. Make sure not to miss any of Stephen’s winners!)

Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons Week 17 NFL Point Spread Pick from John Martin: December 31st 2017

| December 31, 2017

Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Week 17 NFL Point Spread Pick: Falcons -3.5 (December 31st 2017)

The Atlanta Falcons need a win to get in the playoffs.  I trust them to come forth with a big effort at home against the Carolina Panthers today.  The Falcons blew their game against the Panthers 17-20 on the road earlier this season as Julio Jones dropped a wide open touchdown pass that likely would have won it for them.  I think Jones will be determined for a monster game here, and his teammates will follow suit.  The Falcons had won their previous three meetings with the Panthers by 17, 15 and 7 points.  Atlanta is 20-8 ATS in its last 28 games after scoring 15 points or fewer in its previous game.  The Panthers are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 vs. NFC South foes.  They should have lost to the Bucs at home last week.  The Panthers don’t have a whole lot to play for in this game like Atlanta does because they would need the Saints to lose to the Bucs to win the division, which is unlikely.  The home team is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings.  The Panthers are 2-7 ATS in their last nine meetings in Atlanta.  Give me the Falcons.

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