The NBA regular season continues with games on Monday. The Toronto Raptors will hit the road and take on the Charlotte Hornets. It’s time to continue our NBA Odds series and make a Raptors-Hornets prediction and pick.

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These two teams have had very similar starts to the season. The Toronto Raptors are one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now and have won their last five games. The Charlotte Hornets meanwhile have been struggling and lost their last four contests. This should be an interesting match-up between two teams trending in opposite directions.

Here are the Raptors-Hornets NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel.

NBA Odds: Raptors-Hornets Odds

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Toronto Raptors: -1.5 (-112) 

Charlotte Hornets: +1.5 (-108)

Over: 224.5 (-110)

Under: 224.5 (-110)

Why The Raptors Could Cover The Spread

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The Toronto Raptors have been gaining momentum recently and are beginning to look like a team that might just make a playoff push. While they have had to deal with injuries and COVID absences, they have managed to persevere and come out the other end as strong as ever. Through their first 51 games, the Raptors have secured a winning record with 28 wins and 23 losses. Toronto has beaten some tough opponents and will look to continue their dominance on Monday against the Hornets. Charlotte is another tough team, but based on the Raptors’ recent performances they have what it takes to come out ahead.

So why has this Raptors team been on a roll lately? It’s simple, every single member of the team contributes. In their most recent win over the Hawks, six out of the nine players scored in the double digits. In their overtime win over the Bulls, four players scored 20+ points, and six players scored in the double digits. When they beat the Heat, six players scored in the double digits. This trend of players stepping up and contributing is what makes this Raptors team dangerous. While they may only have nine players see the floor on a given night, the vast majority of those players are contributing to this team’s success.

For the first stretch of time this season, the Raptors are at nearly full health. Currently, Toronto has only one player listed on their injury report. Goran Dragic is listed as out (personal) ahead of Monday’s match. Besides Dragic, the Raptors are healthy and ready to extend their win streak. Toronto has looked great lately and has shown no signs of slowing down.

Why The Hornets Could Cover The Spread

The Charlotte Hornets have had a roller coaster of a season thus far. They started off hot, competing and beating some of the best teams in the league, but they have seemingly fallen off. Through their first 54 games, Charlotte has barely managed a winning record with 28 wins and 26 losses. The Hornets are coming off an 18-point loss to the Miami Heat. Charlotte faces another tough opponent in the Toronto Raptors and will need to kick things up a notch if they want to come out ahead. The Hornets have the manpower, they just need to show that they can hang with a competitive opponent.

The Hornets’ success is based on their three best players, LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges, and Terry Rozier. When these guys have a good night, the team usually does well, however when one or more of them struggle, Charlotte usually comes up short. The difference between the Raptors and the Hornets is the depth and bench contributions. Charlotte has a good team, but their bench needs to step up. In their loss to Miami, not a single player scored over 20 points. In their loss to Boston, LaMelo and Rozier combined for over half their team’s points. While it’s encouraging to see your best players put up numbers, that’s not what wins games.

At least the Hornets are able to put their best roster forward. Like the Raptors, Charlotte only has one player listed on their injury report. Jalen McDaniels remains out for Monday’s match. This means that the Hornets have little excuse to not compete in this game. The Hornets have the talent and depth to be a competitive team in this league, they just need to show that they have the drive to make it happen. If Charlotte plays up to their potential then they could come out ahead here.

Final Raptors-Hornets Prediction & Pick

On paper, this should be a really good game. These teams have similar records, they’ve beaten similar teams, however, it only takes a little digging to see that there is a clear pick here. The spread is marginal and Toronto has been on a roll lately. On the flip side, Charlotte has been struggling against the teams that the Raptors have been dominating. Maybe this will be the game that the Hornets are able to turn things around, but that is not something worth betting on. Pick the Raptors to win and cover.

FINAL RAPTORS-HORNETS PICK: Toronto Raptors -1.5 (-112)