The Clippers hold a record of 46-23 overall and are 38-30-1 against the spread. Los Angeles is coming off a blowout win over the Toronto Raptors.
The Hornets stand at 33-36 overall and 35-33-1 against the spread. Charlotte is coming off a loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Clippers-Hornets odds.
NBA Odds: Clippers-Hornets Odds
Los Angeles Clippers -8 (-110)
Charlotte Hornets +8 (-110)
Over 220.5 Points (-110)
Under 220.5 Points (-110)
Why The Clippers Could Cover The Spread
The Clippers put on a clinic in their last match, absolutely smothering the Toronto Raptors and relying on a well rounded effort on offense to take care of business.
Los Angeles has relied heavily on their defense lately to produce victories. Since Kawhi Leonard’s return, they’ve held all five of their opponents under their scoring average. Three of those opponents failed to break 100 points.
The Clippers have held opponents to the fourth least points in the league and the seventh lowest three-point percentage. Against a Charlotte team that loves to shoot the ball, their three-point defense will be key.
The Hornets get 37.6% of their points from beyond the arc, the sixth highest percentage in the league. Against a Clippers team that plays excellent perimeter defense, they could struggle in an area they are usually comfortable in.
On the offensive end, the Clippers should get what they want on most possessions down the floor. The Hornets will have no answer defensively for Paul George or Kawhi Leonard, as nearly all their best defensive wings are expected to miss this matchup.
Miles Bridges, Gordon Hayward, and both Martin twins will miss this matchup. The Clippers star duo should have a field day on offense and bust the Clippers out of the scoring slump they’ve been in.
Why The Hornets Could Cover The Spread
The Hornets come into this game a little beat up, but they have a few factors working in their favor tonight.
For one, the Clippers have looked sluggish on the offensive end for weeks now. Los Angeles averages 114 points per game on the year, just outside the top ten in the NBA. They’ve scored 114 in only three of their last ten matchups.
Kawhi Leonard has not quite found his groove yet, averaging only 18.6 points on 46% shooting in the five games since his return from injury. Additionally, the Hornets defense has been surprisingly positive this season.
The Charlotte defense is 11th in least points allowed, and has held opponents to the 11th lowest three point percentage, and the 16th lowest field goal percentage. These numbers aren’t blowing anyone away, but this group has shown they’re not just gonna get blown away immediately every night.
On the offensive end, the Hornets badly need their shooters to have a great night. Charlotte’s biggest strength is their three-point shooting, and they are top ten in the league in attempts, makes, and percentage from deep.
If Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham can get hot from deep, the Hornets can hang with anyone.
Final Clippers-Hornets Prediction & Pick
The Hornets are 6-9 ATS when marked as underdogs of eight points or more, and I expect their poor cover rate to continue tonight. Charlotte doesn’t have the personnel to slow all of the Clippers wings tonight, and I expect their backcourt to be slowed by the combined efforts of Leonard, George, and Beverley. I’ll back the Clippers to win big here as they jostle for position in the Western Conference.
FINAL CLIPPERS-HORNETS PREDICTION: LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS -8: LAC 116, CHR 102