How the Hell Did the Hornets Cover vs. Warriors? Inside a Bizarre Sequence Saved Charlotte Bettors
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Terry Rozier and Ky Bowman
It’s better to be lucky than good. When you’re betting on the Hornets, it’s better to be whatever the hell those bettors were Saturday night.
Charlotte opened as one-point dogs vs. the Warriors before word started to circulate late Friday and into Saturday that Draymond Green may not play with an injury, and that D’Angelo Russell was also questionable. That moved the line to Hornets -1, then Hornets -3, and then, well…
It was -6 by the time the game started, with most bettors in at Hornets -5.5.
Yet there it was, with the Hornets trailing for most of the game but somehow sneaking up for a one-point lead late. Still a cover seemed impossible. The Hornets had the ball after a timeout with 30 seconds left in the game and 7 seconds left on the shot clock.
At that point, the Warriors were 89% to cover +6.
Then … madness.
The Hornets turned the ball over on a 3-second call (inside 7 seconds on the clock mind you), throwing even moneyline bettors into throes of stress.
But on the inbound, the ball got tipped right in front of the inbounds passer Damion Lee by Cody Martin, and then Lee, trying to corral it, knocked it out of bounds. Back to Charlotte.
The Hornets inbound the ball, nearly get an 8-second call, and finally get it over the line, burn some clock, and Rozier is fouled. We’re down to 14 seconds and a 10% chance for the Hornets to cover.
Except, of course, Rozier misses not one, but both. Doom for the Hornets bettors!
Except the ball is right there and the Warriors don’t grab it. Martin grabs it, and is fouled.
He hits one and the Hornets -1.5 bettors who got in early are looking more optimistic but Golden State’s still likely to cover or win.
Only he doesn’t hit the second. He misses… and the Hornets get the rebound again(!). Only then Dwayne Bacon is tired up, jump ball and even more time has ticked off. We’re down to six seconds, a jumpball coming, and you might as well start lighting those Hornets tickets for anything -3 or longer on fire.
The Hornets nab the jump ball and, instead of trying to run away and burn time, they call time to set up a play, risking a turnover. After the timeout, they pull off the inbound, and Rozier hits both free throws. We’re at a 4-point lead with three seconds left.
Surely the Warriors will just bring the ball up and heave it, right? After all, they’re out of timeouts.
No, no, not these special Warriors. They’re here for us Hornets bettors. Rookie Ky Bowman throws a baseball pass to the other end of the court, which is intercepted by Marvin Williams. The game is now clearly over.
Eric Paschall fouls Williams. And Marvin Williams, the reliable, stable vet, hits both free throws. The Hornets lead by six. There is much rejoicing throughout the land.
Paschall hoists up a running 3-pointer which could have been a cold-blooded backdoor cover, but it falls short, and everyone with Hornets -5.5 or better covers.
An absolute miracle.
Via Sports Insights, 80% of the tickets and 77% of the money bet on Hornets-Warriors was on Charlotte, much of it after the late line move.
I'M GOING FUCKING NUTS THAT'S THE CRAZIEST BEAT I'VE EVER WON pic.twitter.com/cfTQ2CnNwK
— VinnyDog (@LycaonVictus) November 3, 2019
— Dylan Burd (@Sports_Burd) November 3, 2019