The Golden State Warriors are set to take on the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday as they take part in their second leg of a four-game road trip. The Warriors are coming off of a narrow loss to the Orlando Magic on Friday as they enter Saturday with a 15-15 record against the spread this season.
On the other hand, the Hornets haven’t played a game since Valentine’s Day due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Charlotte’s previous game was a loss to the San Antonio Spurs, giving the Hornets a 15-12-1 record against the spread thus far.
Coming into Saturday’s contest, Golden State holds the better overall record of 16-14 compared to Charlotte’s 13-15 overall record. Taking that into account, let’s take a look at the current odds for Saturday night’s showdown between the Warriors and the Hornets.
Golden State Warriors -1.5 (-115)
Charlotte Hornets +1.5 (-105)
Over 234 points (-110)
Under 234 points (-110)
Why the Warriors could cover the spread
There’s no doubt that, on paper, the Warriors are the better team coming into the game. Stephen Curry has been playing at an MVP level this season and Draymond Green seems to be returning to his versatile form in recent weeks.
Not to mention, the duo of Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr. appear to be growing more comfortable in their roles on the Warriors. While Golden State lacks size due to the absence of James Wiseman and Kevon Looney, they make up for it with their outside shooting and athleticism.
The Warriors currently average 14.4 made three-pointers per game, which is the sixth-most in the NBA. At the same time, the Hornets are allowing 14.9 made three-pointers per game as a defense, which is the third-most in the league. Golden State’s ability to shoot from outside could present problems for a Charlotte team that’s 8-8 at home this season.
Another aspect that benefits the Warriors is their small success so far on back-to-backs. In their first 30 games, Golden State has taken part in two back-to-backs, winning the second game of those instances both times. Lastly, the Warriors are 10-3 as favorites this season, making it likely that they can win by at least a basket.
Why the Hornets could cover the spread
The odds seem to be against the Hornets on Saturday, though, it’s interesting that sportsbooks are labeling them as only 1.5-point underdogs at home. Sportsbooks may be taking into account that Golden State just played a hard-fought game on Friday against Orlando, making them tired for Saturday’s game.
Also, Terry Rozier has been on a tear recently as he’s averaged 36 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game in his past three games. LaMelo Ball has also seen an expanded role recently, playing in more than 30 minutes in eight of his past 10 games. Ball’s presence has helped the Hornets win seven of their last 14 games.
The absence of Graham does make Charlotte a bit thin in their backcourt on Saturday. But they do have the advantage in size as Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo should have no issues dominating the glass against a smaller Warriors team.
Despite their overall record, the Hornets are 5-1-1 against teams in the Pacific Division in their past seven games against the division. While the six-day layoff could cause Charlotte to be rusty, it could have given them some much-needed rest versus a Golden State team who’ll be playing in their fourth game since February 15.
Final Warriors-Hornets predictions and pick
The Warriors come into this game with the second-highest pace in the NBA and they’ll want to run the floor and shoot threes at will. Seeing that they are coming off of a disappointing loss, Golden State will be motivated to get back in the win column against a team that is below .500.
Curry is playing at an elite level right now and the Hornets don’t have anyone that can guard him consistently. And if this becomes a game that involves both teams taking outside shots, it’s safe to bet on the Warriors having the upper-hand.
With that in mind, I’ll take Golden State to cover -1.5 as they should take care of business on the road in a back-to-back. The Hornets have been dealing with COVID-19 issues recently, giving them less time to practice in recent days.
As for the over/under in the game, I’ll back the under in this game with Charlotte being a slightly slower-paced team. Also, the Warriors have only been in 10 games this season that has exceeded 234 points. The Hornets have only been a part of six such games themselves.
Of course, these picks could be subject to change if there is news that comes out in the hours leading to tip-off. But for the time being, the Warriors at -1.5 and the under seem to be the logical choices for Saturday’s game between Golden State and Charlotte.
Final score prediction: GSW 116, CHA 105 (GSW -1.5)