The Charlotte Hornets (23-50) visit the New Orleans Pelicans (35-37) on Thursday night! Action tips off at 8:10 p.m. ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Hornets-Pelicans prediction, pick, and how to watch.
Charlotte has lost four of their last five games and sits in 14th place in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets covered 45% of their games while 56% went under the projected point total. New Orleans has won two straight but remains in 12th place in the Western Conference. The Pelicans covered 47% of their games while 51% went under. This'll be the second and final meeting between the cross-conference foes. New Orleans won the first matchup, 124-112 back in October.
Here are the Hornets-Pelicans NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Hornets-Pelicans Odds
Charlotte Hornets: +9 (-114)
New Orleans Pelicans: -9 (-106)
Over: 225.5 (-110)
Under: 225.5 (-110)
How To Watch Hornets vs. Pelicans
TV: Bally Southeast, Bally New Orleans
Stream: NBA League Pass
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT
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Why The Hornets Could Cover The Spread
Charlotte's season is effectively over as the Hornets are one of four teams mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. That being said, the Hornets have been competitive in recent games, most recently taking down the Pacers while covering against the Cavaliers and Jazz. While Charlotte has struggled to score since the All-Star break, they've been stout on defense. Over their last 13 games, the Hornets have allowed just 110.5 PPG – the fourth-lowest mark in the league over that span. They've been particularly fearsome at the rim considering the Hornets rank fourth in blocks per game since the All-Star break. That being said, Charlotte will need to get their offense rolling if they want to cover as sizable road underdogs.
Despite their place on the Eastern Conference playoff ladder, the Hornets have a number of capable options to turn to on the offensive end. Since the All-Star break, wing Kelly Oubre Jr. leads the team with 21.5 PPG to go along with his 5.6 RPG. He is shooting an efficient 47% over that span. Additionally, Oubre has been letting it fly from beyond the arc, averaging 2.3 made threes per game at a 37% clip.
Combo guard Terry Rozier is right there with Oubre as he has quietly been one of the better perimeter scorers in the league this season. While his efficiency comes and goes, Rozier has averaged 19.8 PPG and 5.9 APG over their last 13 games. Like Oubre, he's been eager to take outside shots, attempting 7.7 threes per game despite shooting just 30% from deep. Rozier recorded a monster 23-point, 11-assists double-double in their earlier meeting with the Pelicans and he should see similar success tonight.
The X-factor for the Hornets tonight is veteran forward Gordon Hayward. Hayward recorded one of his best games of the season in their earlier tout with the Pelicans. In the November loss, Hayward scored 26 points on 12/19 shooting and dished out seven assists. He's found similar success since the All-Star break, averaging 15.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 4.9 APG over his last 13 appearances.
Why The Pelicans Could Cover The Spread
New Orleans is running out of time to back a run as they sit in 12th place as they enter the home stretch of the regular season. The Pelicans have fallen off a cliff since their earlier season dominance and desperately need a win here. That being said, they have a strong chance to not only win outright but also cover a hefty spread thanks to their stellar defense. Since the All-Star break, the Pelicans have allowed just 110.7 PPG – the sixth-lowest mark in the league. Similarly to their opponents tonight, the Pelicans have struggled on offense over that span, however, and are averaging the fourth-fewest points per game.
If the Pelicans are going to cover as hefty favorites, they're going to need a big night from do-it-all forward Brandon Ingram. The 25-year-old was unstoppable in their earlier win over the Hornets, scoring 28 points, recording nine rebounds, and dishing out seven assists. While he did miss some time between then and now, Ingram has picked up right where he left off since the All-Star break. Over his last 11 games, BI averaged 25.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 5.5 APG. He's been solidly efficient as well, shooting 49% from the floor.
The X-factor for the Pelicans tonight is big man Jonas Valanciunas. The burly center terrorized the Hornets in their earlier meeting, scoring 30 points and securing 17 rebounds. While those outbursts have been few and far between since he has averaged a solid 13.4 PPG and 9.9 RPG across their last 11 games.
Final Hornets-Pelicans Prediction & Pick
Charlotte has given some solid teams a scare in recent weeks and should be able to keep things close tonight despite being massive underdogs.
Final Hornets-Pelicans Prediction & Pick: Charlotte Hornets +9 (-114)