Hornets 2019-20 Season Win Total: Will Charlotte Finally Tank Again?

Hornets 2019-20 Season Win Total: Will Charlotte Finally Tank Again? article feature image
Credit:

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier.

  • Prior to the 2019-20 NBA season, Matt Moore (@HPBasketball) analyzes each team's win total odds.
  • Below, Matt provides a case for the over and under + gives his confidence rating for the Charlotte Hornets' win total this year.

Check out this post for updated season win total odds and this post for my other 29 season win total picks.

All odds as of Thursday. Check out PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

Charlotte Hornets Win Total

The Case for the Over (22.5, Caesars)

I will admit, I am probably not the one to approach on this team, as I’ve thought they were better than their record the past three seasons. However, they did hit their over comfortably last season, which I was on.

Do you know why?

Because I remember the careers of players before last season. Nicolas Batum has had a good, long NBA career. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is at worst a replacement-level wing with good defense.

Marvin Williams is a quality stretch-4. Cody Zeller is an underrated big man with range who sets an actual honest-to-God screen.

This number essentially suggests the Hornets will be in the running for the worst team in the league. This number is four wins worse than the Knicks, for God’s sake.

There are long-term plays here: the progress of Malik Monk and Miles Bridges; possible trade returns for Batum, MKG or Zeller; and a bounceback season from Terry Rozier, who everyone forgets was really good before all the Kyrie Irving stuff last season.

But really, it’s a number play. Getting to 24 wins in the East’s Southeast Division means two wins from the Wizards and Hawks, one win from the Heat and Magic, going 10-20 vs. the rest of the East and going 8-22 vs. the West. That’s it. That’s the formula.

The Case for the Under (23.5, PointsBet)

They have no star player and nothing they are definably great at. They finished 11th in offense last year but had Kemba Walker. They finished 23rd in defense, although it should be noted that Walker had the fourth-worst Defensive Rating on the team. Walker gives good effort for his size and can be pesky in a great scheme with great personnel, but he’s still undersized. Rozier will be better in that capacity (and that capacity only).

But overall, the roster doesn’t present anyone you feel you can count on to hold up the unit on either end. Zeller looks great in all the advanced metrics but needs a scoring point guard to optimize what he provides. The veterans can shoot and defend a little but can’t create on their own.

Where are the eight wins vs. the West really going to come from? The Hornets have as much incentive to tank as any team in the league; pulling the plug is not inconceivable.

Their media day was filled with talk about how coach James Borrego has communicated to the veterans that this year will be about playing the young guys. This is the beginning of a fire sale — on assets no one actually wants.

The Verdict

  • The pick: Under 23.5
  • Confidence: 2 out of 10

Until media day I felt pretty good about the over. But between Michael Kidd-Gilchrist basically saying, “I don’t know why I’m here,” and the sense they’re going to play the young guys (who aren’t that good to begin with beyond Bridges), I have to call it a stay-away. The number is too low to move on the under; the team’s too bad to hit the over.