The Charlotte Hornets (25-51) visit the Oklahoma City Thunder (37-38) on Tuesday night! Action tips off at 8:10 p.m. ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Hornets-Thunder prediction, pick, and how to watch.
Charlotte has won three of their last four games but remains in 14th place in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets covered 46% of their games while 58% went under the projected point total. Oklahoma City has lost two of their last three games but remains in 10th place in the Western Conference. The Thunder covered 60% of their games while 57% went over. This will be the second and final meeting between the cross-conference foes. Charlotte won the previous matchup, 121-113 back at the end of December.
Here are the Hornets-Thunder NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Hornets-Thunder Odds
Charlotte Hornets: +9 (-108)
Oklahoma City Thunder: -9 (-112)
Over: 227 (-110)
Under: 227 (-110)
How To Watch Hornets vs. Thunder
TV: Bally Southeast, Bally Oklahoma
Stream: NBA League Pass
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Hornets Could Cover The Spread
Charlotte may have been eliminated from playoff contention, but the Hornets have shown no signs of throwing in the towel. The Hornets notably took down the Mavericks twice in the last week – showing they’re fully capable of covering and outright winning against playoff-caliber teams. The Hornets will be without a few key guys tonight as Gordon Hayward is doubtful, Terry Rozier is out, and Kelly Oubre Jr. is questionable. That being said, they managed to outlast the Mavericks without those guys thanks to some major contributions from role players.
If the Hornets are going to cover as heavy road underdogs tonight, they’re going to need PJ Washington to continue his strong play. Washington has quietly had another solid season, averaging 15.4 PPG and 4.9 RPG. The 24-year-old has been a force on the defensive end as well, chipping in 2.0 STOCKS (steals plus blocks) per game. He’s been the focal point in their last three games, notably dropping 28 and 21 points in their two wins over Dallas. He snagged 12 rebounds in their most recent win as well – demonstrating his versatility. Washington torched the Thunder for 25 points on 77% shooting in their earlier win. As a result, he should be locked and loaded tonight.
While the Hornets haven’t had much to play for in the second half of the season, journeyman guard Dennis Smith Jr. has taken full advantage of increased opportunities. The former top-10 pick was a critical player in their two wins over Dallas, combining for 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 15 assists. With so many guys out for the Hornets tonight, look for him to play a huge role tonight.
Why The Thunder Could Cover The Spread
Oklahoma City continues to shock the NBA world as the youngest team in the league is in a prime position to make the play-in game. The Thunder are just 0.5 a game up on the 11th-place Mavericks, however, and need every win they can get as they enter the home stretch. Oklahoma City features one of the most electric offenses in the league as they rank fifth with 117.4 PPG. They live in the paint thanks to their dribble penetration, averaging 54.9 points in the paint per game – third in the NBA. The X-factor for the Thunder tonight could be their defense. While Oklahoma City gives up their fair share of buckets, they force 16.9 turnovers per game – most in the league.
The Thunder’s prolific offense will be without leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander but can still be counted on thanks to their other two budding stars, Jalen Williams and Josh Giddey. Williams has been a revelation in the second half of the season. The first-round pick has exploded to average 18.6 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 4.4 APG over his last 16 games. Williams has been a force on the defensive end as well, averaging 1.7 steals per game. He’s been the focal point of the offense in games SGA sits – leading the team with 19.8 PPG in such instances.
As for Giddey, last year’s sixth-overall pick has quietly developed into a serious triple-double threat thanks to averaging 16.3 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 6.1 APG this season. The 20-year-old is coming off back-to-back stellar performances, amassing a 27-17-7 line against the Lakers before posting a 17-11-6 line against the Blazers. With SGA out, look for Giddey to thrive – particularly as a playmaker.
The X-factor for the Thunder tonight is wing Luguentz Dort. Dort steps up in a huge way with SGA out as he ranks second on the team with 17.5 PPG in games their star sits. He scored 22 points on 54% shooting the last time these teams met and could very well hit that mark again tonight.
Final Hornets-Thunder Prediction & Pick
While SGA being out certainly hurts their chances of covering, the Thunder have shown signs of dominance at home this season.
Final Hornets-Thunder Prediction & Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder -9 (-112)