Hornets vs. Nets NBA Odds & Picks: Charlotte Has Value Against Brooklyn’s Defense (Friday, April 16)
Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Terry Rozier #3 of the Charlotte Hornets; Kyrie Irving #11 and Joe Harris #12 of the Brooklyn Nets.
- The Charlotte Hornets face the Brooklyn Nets Friday night as huge double-digit underdogs.
- Despite their sparkling record this season, Kenny Ducey details why one betting trend could mean a potential let-down game for the Nets.
- You can read more of his game analysis below.
Hornets vs. Nets Odds
|Moneyline||+620 / -925|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds as of Friday and via PointsBet|
The Nets have lost three of six, but they haven’t had their full complement of players available so it’s difficult to get a read on where they stand.
They’ll welcome back some of their stars who were resting on the second night of a back-to-back when they play the Hornets, though they’ll still be without James Harden.
Is it possible that Harden’s absence, and the Nets’ lethargic defense could breathe some life into a Hornets team that’s desperate for any kind of hope? Let’s get into the matchup and see if we can find some value.
After the loss of LaMelo Ball, the Hornets did an admirable job staying afloat with seven wins in their next 10 games.
Reality has come crashing down on them in recent weeks, however, with the advent of a three-game losing streak that includes the Hawks, the shorthanded Lakers and the Cavaliers. The Hawks loss was a close one, and easy to understand given their recent success, but Charlotte under-performed its last two times out.
The problem for the Hornets? They simply can’t score. This once-promising and fun offense has mustered up just 108.7 points per 100 possessions over the past five games, according to NBA.com, which ranks fifth-to-last in the NBA. They’ve shot a very poor 34.3% from three over that span, and the only thing they can really hang their hat on as being not terrible is a 21st-ranked rebounding rate.
Broadening our view to the last 10 games, we can see the Hornets really like to slow down games, ranking third-to-last in pace. This will be a pace-up game for them against the Nets, who have been flirting with the top 10 in that metric all season long and who have generally played up-tempo with Durant in the lineup.
It’s never easy to handicap Nets games these days because they have a different lineup on the floor every game, so trends are really difficult to read into. Brooklyn’s won just three of six, covering in two of those wins as favorites and covering last time out as a nine-point underdogs against the Sixers.
Now, seeing as it’s not the second night of a back-to-back, and Kyrie Irving’s week off due to personal reasons is now a distant memory, the Nets are deserving double-digit favorites.
Irving and Kevin Durant are expected to be back in the lineup here, though James Harden remains out with a hamstring injury. There’s also the issue of LaMarcus Aldridge, who is no longer with the team after experiencing an irregular heartbeat and subsequently retiring from the NBA.
That leaves a bit of a hole in the front court, though the Nets still have Blake Griffin to fill that void, as well as youngster Nic Claxton. When Aldridge was on the floor in his six games, he added two net points per 100 possessions, according to NBA.com, so Brooklyn will be searching for a way to make that up.
The Nets will be returning home to Barclays Center where they’re just 13-16 against the spread this year, and an even-worse 8-14 ATS as the home favorites, per Bet Labs. This adds just the slightest little twist in the matchup.
The Hornets’ defense has been okay, but their offense has not. That runs in contrast to the Nets, who have one of the league’s most high-powered offenses, even without James Harden, but have continued to struggle on defense, still ranking towards the bottom of the league.
For me, given the Nets’ lackluster defense, I’m inclined to take the points here with Charlotte. It’s no coincidence that the Hornets have struggled to score two nights in a row against two good defenses.
Before that, they were either winning or playing up to some great opponents, and playing them well. Mix in the fact that the Nets have been poor at covering at home, and I think the Hornets can keep this inside double digits.
Pick: Hornets +13.5 (-110)