Charlotte at Orlando +6 O/U 211.5
I could do this write-up in a single sentence: ‘The Charlotte Hornets have no business as road chalk at this stage of the campaign.’ That’s the crux of this wager. The Hornets fought the good fight for a little while – they won four in a row coming out of the All-Star Break, and four more in a row in the midst of March Madness.
But since losing to Cleveland at home to essentially end their realistic playoff chances, the Hornets have played like a ‘Stick a Fork in them’ type of team – they’re done. With a lame duck head coach and a new GM poised to revamp this roster in the offseason; it’s not like Charlotte’s veterans have a whole lot to play for over the final week of the campaign.
Kemba Walker is clearly wearing down – he’s scored 10 points or less in three straight games with a dismal 10-10 assist-to-turnover ratio during that span. Dwight Howard continues to put up numbers, but he’s not playing much defense these days. In fact, the Hornets have allowed 118 points per game on 49% shooting over their last five contests. Those aren’t ‘road chalk’ type of numbers – period!
The betting markets devalue teams as soon as the G-League call-ups start getting fourth quarter minutes; a knee-jerk reaction. That’s certainly happened with Orlando; a team that the betting markets have been fading with consistency for months. But Orlando has just won back-2-back games, including a tight win over Dallas, despite G-League talent on the floor.
On Wednesday against Dallas, G-League call-ups Jamel Artis, Khem Birch and Rodney Purvis combined to score 16 or Orlando’s 28 fourth quarter points. Artis gave us a nice ‘bet-on’ quote following the game:
"We do have a lot of chemistry because we've all been playing in the G League together. Down in crunch time, we know what each other's tendencies are, and we like to play together. We're not selfish and we're all unselfish. We ended out the game and I think that (unselfishness) helped us get the win."
This series has been all Charlotte for years: 10-0 SU and 8-2 ATS dating back to 2015. But Orlando took this team down to the wire in a two point home loss the last time these two teams matched up, in February. Expect another tight affair tonight, making the points worth taking!