Hornets vs Lakers Picks, Prediction Today | Thursday, Dec. 28

Hornets vs Lakers Picks, Prediction Today | Thursday, Dec. 28 article feature image
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LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers attempts a shot against P.J. Washington #25 of the Charlotte Hornets during the second half of the game at Spectrum Center. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Hornets vs. Lakers Prediction, Picks for Thursday, Dec. 28

Thursday, Dec. 28
10:30 p.m.
League Pass
Lakers Team Total Over 121.5 

Here's everything you need to know about Hornets vs. Lakers on Thursday, Dec. 28 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.

The Hornets will remain in Los Angeles to face the Lakers after losing to the Clippers on Tuesday night. Can the Hornets rally to compete despite a plethora of key injuries, or will the Lakers dominate this depleted Hornets squad?

Let's get to our Hornets vs. Lakers prediction and pick.


Hornets vs. Lakers Prediction

Pick: Lakers Team Total Over 121.5

Hornets Shorthanded

The Hornets have struggled to stay healthy as they have been without their best player LaMelo Ball in addition to Mark Williams sporadically over the last few weeks. Williams, who is doubtful to play with a back injury, has been the most impactful player on the Hornets in terms of On/Off Rating. The Hornets have a Net Rating of -2.0 with him on the court and a Net Rating of -14.1 with him off the floor, a +12.1 swing.

The Lakers rank second in offensive Rim Rate, so expect them to dominate in the paint here, especially if Williams can't go.

Wings Gordon Hayward and Brandon Miller are also questionable to play on Thursday. The Hornets may struggle offensively here as the Lakers do a good job of limiting shots at the rim with their sixth-best defensive Rim Rate Allowed but just 22nd in 3-point Attempt Rate Allowed. The Lakers defend the paint really well but can struggle against teams that space the floor from three effectively like we just saw against the Celtics on Christmas.


Lakers Have Edge at the Rim

The Lakers have sputtered after winning the In-Season Tournament as they’ve gone 2-6 over their last eight games. They now rank just 16th in Net Rating (+0.5) and are outside of the playoff picture as the ninth seed in the West. They should have an edge on offense here as the Hornets are devoid of rim protectors if Williams can't play at center.

On the wing, Gordon Hayward is out Thursday while Brandon Miller is questionable to play. The Hornets may struggle offensively here as the Lakers do a good job of limiting shots at the rim with their sixth-best defensive Rim Rate Allowed but just 22nd in 3-point Attempt Rate Allowed. The Lakers defend the paint really well but can struggle against teams that space the floor from 3 effectively like we just saw against the Celtics on Christmas.


Hornets vs. Lakers Picks, Odds

Thursday, Dec. 28
10:30 p.m. ET
League Pass
Hornets Odds
SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
+13
-110
229
-110/-110
+650
Lakers Odds
SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
-13
-110
229
-110/-110
-1000
Odds via DraftKings . Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Hayward will be out while Williams is doubtful to play, so I’ll be looking to back the Lakers team total as I fear this Hornet defense is completely cooked without Williams.

If the team total remains around 121.5, I'll bet the over here.

Pick: Lakers Team Total Over 121.5 

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