Las Vegas Sun

May 22, 2017

Currently: 89° — Complete forecast

Vegas Play of the Day: Charlotte Hornets at Houston Rockets

We’re entering the third season of the annual South Point-lined Play of the Day competition, effective July 1.

Starting bankrolls have reset to $10,000, with the maximum bet being to win $1,000 and the minimum wager $300. Ray Brewer won the 2015-2016 season, after Taylor Bern prevailed in 2014-2015. Bern stepped away in the middle of the 2016-2017 season with a 16-12 record and $13,317 bankroll, with Mike Grimala taking his place.

Charlotte Hornets plus-9.5 at Houston Rockets: $440 to win $400

The Rockets return home after a brief road trip as the hottest team in the NBA, having won eight straight games and 19 of 21 since the start of December. A run like that can’t last forever.

In fact, a run like that usually begins to end when no one is expecting it. And no one is expecting it to come soon, much less tonight, where the spread has bloated upwards around town with roughly two out of every three tickets coming in on Houston.

Charlotte is seemingly going in the other direction, having lost two straight to start its road trip and four of five. But the Hornets are better than perceived; they’re now undervalued by the betting line.

Charlotte’s Steve Clifford is one of the best coaches in the NBA and does the best utilizing the pieces he has. With two days to prepare, he’ll have a solid game plan concocted for the Rockets.

Given Houston’s travel schedule and standing, it’s probably not going to come into this game with the same intensity. The Hornets could play well enough to hang with the Rockets even if the situation didn’t favor them.

But this situation does, and it’s why the Hornets are a good bet tonight.

Current Standings: Keefer (34-23-2, $11,961), Brewer (21-18-1, $10,095), Grimala (2-2, $10,000), Granger (5-10, $5,850)

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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