Charlotte Hornets 2021 NBA Win Total Odds & Pick: Can Gordon Hayward, LaMelo Ball Compete In the East?
Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Gordon Hayward (center) of the Charlotte Hornets.
Charlotte Hornets Win Total Odds
The Case for the Over
Talent. Pure and simple, talent.
The Hornets added two potential star players in the offseason: Gordon Hayward and LaMelo Ball. Both are ball-handlers, giving them multiple on-ball weapons on the floor at all times, alongside DeVonte’ Graham and Terry Rozier. They have finishers in P.J. Washington and Miles Bridges,
That’s enough to win 30 games in an NBA season, in the Eastern Conference.
The Hornets were on pace for 25 per 72 games last season before play was suspended. Have they not improved? Have they not added both a player who was considered by many to be the best player in the draft and an All-Star caliber wing in Hayward?
Talent wins in the NBA, and the Hornets are more talented. Especially Ball, who many felt dazzled in his first preseason game.
The Case for the Under
Oh, you mean the game where he went 0-for-5 from the field with four turnovers to four assists? That LaMelo Ball? Followed by a 3-of-10 performance in preseason?
This team’s Pythagorean expectation per 72 games last year was 21. Does an aging, overpaid, injury-prone Hayward and a rookie many feel has the highest ceiling but also does the most to send games sideways with his decision-making really get this team to almost a playoff team, even in the East?
Bear in mind that the Hornets had the fourth-worst SRS of any team, Basketball Reference’s Simple Rating System that puts point differential up against strength of schedule. They were bottom five in offense and defense.
Hayward’s best role is as the third man with two stars next to him. Now, he’s having to be the adult in the room for a team that’s young and brash.
There are few quality defenders on this team outside of Hayward. The Hornets will have to win with their offense. There are weapons like Graham and Washington, and LaMelo might be a transcendent player. But being in that kind of hole every night will wear on Hayward, and keeping the team engaged the whole season might be a struggle.
Charlotte Hornets Win Total Bet
This basically comes down to what you think of Ball. If you’re high on him, go for the over. If you think he’ll struggle as a ball-hog-ish, wild, young player, then that will likely trigger an eventual tank to secure the under.
You can’t keep using “yeah, but it’s the East” for every team. The Hornets are the kind of team that makes you say “Yeah, but it’s the East.”
I personally like the under, but it’s sharp enough that it’s only a lean that suggests a stay away.