NBA Betting: SportsTips’ Preseason Betting Preview on the Charlotte Hornets

NBA Betting: SportsTips’ Preseason Betting Preview on the Charlotte Hornets
Sat 12th December 2020

The season is right around the corner and the Charlotte Hornets have opened with +30000 odds for the 2020-21 NBA Championship. The experts here at SportsTips have taken the time to review every single NBA team and offer up their opinion on how each team is expected to perform in the 2020-21 season, meaning you can place your best NBA bets with confidence. 

So, without further ado, have a read on below at all our NBA betting stats and information on the Charlotte Hornets:

Charlotte Hornets’ 2019-20 Season Review

After years of being just good enough but never accomplishing everything, Charlotte parted ways to Kemba Walker, embracing a rebuild for the future.

The Hornets received Terry Rozier to be their point guard in place of Walker, pairing him with second year guard Devonte’ Graham and rookie forward PJ Washington, with the trio helping guide the Charlotte outfit to the tenth best record in the Eastern Conference, 23-42. 

Washington and Graham both exceeded expectations, with the latter even being touted as a potential Most Improved Player of the Year winner, but Rozier left a lot for the imagination. Brought in to be the floor general, Rozier was disappointing for a Hornets team needing to gain stability. 

The Eastern Conference was weak enough that despite their poor play and record, Charlotte almost made the Orlando Bubble for teams within four games of the eighth seed. While a playoff berth would have been almost unbelievable for this team, they got what they really wanted, jumping up in the lottery to be awarded the third overall pick. 

The Hornets finished the season 28th in offensive rating and 25th in defensive rating, but expectations were so low for them that they ended up with a positive record against the spread and 19th best in the league, sitting at 33-30-2. When looking at totals markets, Charlotte’s inability to score for extended periods saw their record sit at 31-34, fourth worst in the league. 

Charlotte Hornets’ Offseason Changes 

The Charlotte Hornets entered the 2020 NBA Draft with picks 3, 32 and 56. With the 3rd pick they selected LaMelo Ball, a guard who played professionally in Australia for the Illawarra Hawks. They then selected Duke center Vernon Carey Jr. with the 32nd pick. 

The Hornets made a trade on draft night, sending a future second round pick for the 42nd pick in the draft, where Kentucky center Nick Richards was drafted. With the 56th pick in the draft, Charlotte selected Grant Riller, a guard out of the College of Charleston. 

Players In: LaMelo Ball, Vernon Carey Jr., Nate Darling, Gordon Hayward, Nick Richards, Grant Riller

Players Out: Dwayne Bacon, Nicolas Batum, Willy Hernangómez, Kobi Simmons, Ray Spalding

Charlotte Hornets’ 2020-21 Season Preview

Having made just three playoff appearances since 2005, it is safe to say that few teams in the NBA have struggled as much as the Charlotte Hornets in recent years.

After finishing the 2019-20 season with the tenth best record in the Eastern Conference (23-42), the Hornets have notably added injury prone former All-Star Gordon Hayward and number three pick in the 2020 draft LaMelo Ball for the upcoming season.

Many are calling Hayward’s four-year deal worth $120 million, the worst contract of free agency, due to the recent run that the former Celtic has had with injury.

It is a harsh criticism but a fair one given that the Hornets have overpaid Bismack Biyombo (four years, $72 million), Nic Batum (five years, $120 million) and Terry Rozier (three years, $56.7 million) in recent years.

If healthy the acquisition of Hayward, alongside rookie LaMelo ball will give the Hornets a decent starting five, however their +40000 odds to win the 2020-21 NBA Championship are justifiably the equal second worst in the league, as this team is in the midst of a rebuild and far from being a competitive teams in the Eastern Conference.

Will the Charlotte Hornets Make the Playoffs?

Charlotte wasn’t a threat of making the playoffs last year, and despite the dent it has made in their salary cap, the addition of Gordon Hayward isn’t the transformational piece that will turn the franchise around.

LaMelo Ball will be a fun player to watch in his rookie season and is capable of doing some spectacular things once in every 3-4 games. The Hornets should see some improvement with Hayward and Ball leading the charge, but not enough to elevate Charlotte into playoff contention. Currently +360 to make the playoffs, and -500 to once again miss. 

Charlotte Hornets’ Key Games

January 6: vs Atlanta Hawks: Divisional opponents who have undergone transformational offseasons

January 8: @ New Orleans Pelicans: LaMelo Ball vs Lonzo Ball

February 1: @ Miami Heat: Matchup against the 2019-20 Southeast Division winners

February 12: vs Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards (#1) vs Lonzo Ball (#3)

February 20: vs Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman (#2) vs Lonzo Ball (#3)

March 3: @ Minnesota Timberwolves: The final of a six game West coast road trip

TBD: vs Boston Celtics: Gordon Hayward vs former team

Charlotte Hornets’ Betting Summary

Currently sharing the second worst odds (+40000) to win the 2020-21 NBA Championship, and the second worst odds (+15000) to win the East , the Charlotte Hornets are unlikely to even make the playoffs (+360 to make the playoffs, -500 to miss), let alone win their conference or the NBA title.

If you were looking to bet on the Hornets to succeed in 2020-21, betting the Over (-110) on their line of 26.5 regular season wins would be the way to go. Charlotte have won 33+ games in six of their past seven seasons, with the one outlier coming in last year’s Covid-19 shortened season (23 wins).

Even though the upcoming season has been shortened, putting Gordon Hayward and LaMelo Ball alongside Devonte Graham, Terry Rozier and Miles Bridges will have a positive effect on the

Hornets quality of play, which should see an improving record. Furthermore, given that Charlotte are competing against the Magic, Wizards and Hawks (as well as the Heat) in their division, there is more opportunity to win games against similarly matched opponents. Over 26.5 regular season wins is a solid bet. 

Hornets rookie LaMelo Ball is the +325 favourite to take out the 2020-21 Rookie of the Year award. Ball is undeniably one of, if not the most talented player in his rookie class.

Having already played against men in an internationally recognised competition, Ball may pick things up faster than his fellow draftees. The question surrounding Ball will be his consistency throughout a full season, especially playing on a team that will require him to play well in order to succeed.

However, given that this season will not be 82 games due to the delayed start date, Ball will not have to worry about burning out down the stretch and will be able to play big minutes and put up good numbers when he’s given the opportunity. Certainly a contender for Rookie of the Year and a good preseason bet at +325. 

*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of PointsBet.

For more NBA news and information, check out our NBA hub, and if you want more NBA betting previews on the other teams, we’ve got the information you need! Don’t forget to check out our Twitter for all the latest NBA betting updates throughout the entire season!

Jesse is and always has been a lover of sports. No matter the league, no matter the game, Jesse is constantly keeping up to date with the latest odds, news, injuries and stats. He has a strong interest in the NBA and the NFL, and he will always strive to keep you up to date with the best news, odds, predictions and picks that the ever engaging sporting world has to offer.