The Portland Trail Blazers (7-3) travel cross-country to take on the Charlotte Hornets (3-8) on Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 pm ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Blazers-Hornets prediction and pick.

Portland is 7-3 coming off a three-point win over Miami on Monday. The Blazers have been incredible against the spread (ATS) – covering in 80% of their games thus far. Portland has been an under-machine this season with 66% of their games going under.

Charlotte is 3-8 but have lost five consecutive games after an eight-point loss to Washington on Monday. The Hornets have been slightly better ATS, covering 40% of games. The Hornets’ games have gone under 55% of the time.

The teams split last season’s matchups with each team winning their home game. Charlotte won by 12, while Portland won by nine.

Here are the Blazers-Hornets NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel

NBA Odds: Blazers-Hornets Odds

Portland Trail Blazers: -4.5 (-110)

Charlotte Hornets: +4.5 (-110)

Over: 219.5 (-106)

Under: 219.5 (-114)

Why The Trail Blazers Could Cover The Spread

Portland started this season off red-hot, winning four of their first five games. However, an injury to star point guard Damien Lillard slowed their momentum as they went just 2-2 in Lillard’s absence. Lillard returned on Monday, however, and helped propel Portland to victory.

Lillard is the catalyst for this frisky Blazers team. The 10-year veteran has been fantastic throughout his career but entered this season with major question marks following an injury-riddled 2021-22 season. He’s quickly put any worries about his abilities to rest. For the season, Lillard averages 29 points and 4.8 assists while shooting 47.7% from the field and 39% from three. He’s amassed two 40-point games already and is the clear alpha on a Portland team that has already proven to be a playoff contender.

This isn’t just a one-man show, however, as Portland still managed to go .500 during his absence. The Blazers have been one of the more surprising rebounding and defensive teams in the league. Despite being just 22nd in scoring, the Blazers are eighth in defense and sixth in rebounding rate.

Portland has gotten a ton of production from their role players – something to keep in mind when making a Trail Blazers-Hornets prediction. Center Jusuf Nurkic (13 points and 11.2 rebounds) and guard Josh Hart (9.1 points and 8.6 rebounds) are the glue guys for Portland. Their contributions helped steady the ship while Lillard was out but it was Willard’s backcourt-mate who captained it in his absence.

Guard Anfernee Simmons has been spectacular in an expanded role this season and is a big reason Portland didn’t crater when Lillard went out. Entering his 5th season, Simmons broke out in a big way last year — upping his scoring from 7.8 to 17.3 points per game. He’s taken another leap this year as he’s averaged 22.4 PPG in 36 minutes per game. Simmons, too, missed some time but had a pair of 30-point games while Lillard was out. He’ll return to his sidekick role now that ‘Dame is back but is fully capable of exploding for 30+ on any given night.

Why The Hornets Could Cover The Spread

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The Hornets have been one of the more disappointing teams in the early portion of the season. Having lost their two leading scorers from last season, Charlotte hasn’t been very competitive in the continued absence of LaMelo Ball. They did win two of their first three games to start the year but have since lost seven of their last eight.

Charlotte may not be as bad as their record indicates once fully healthy, but they remain a very mediocre team. The Hornets are 24th in scoring, 18th in defense, and 19th in rebounding rate. They don’t do anything particularly well which is exemplified when looking at their statistical leaders. Charlotte has three players averaging between 16 and 18 points per game. Kelly Oubre Jr. (17.6 PPG), Gordon Hayward (17.4 PPG), and PJ Washington (16.5 PPG) are the leading scorers for the Hornets. Only Hayward and his 47% shooting have been particularly efficient, however.

If there is any hope for the Hornets, it’s that guard Terry Rozier has returned from injury. In his two games back he’s scored  25 and 19 points. He’s played just four games all year but averages 22.8 PPG. Rozier may not be the most efficient scorer but he gives Charlotte an element of shot-creation that has been sorely missed in LaMelo Ball’s absence.

Final Blazers-Hornets Prediction & Pick

The Blazers are finally healthy whereas the Hornets continue to miss LaMelo Ball. If Ball is surprisingly cleared prior to tip-off this could flip, but given the recent performance of these teams, you have to lean toward Portland.

Final Blazers-Hornets Prediction & Pick: Portland Trail Blazers -4.5 (-110)