NBA

NBA Betting: Can the Charlotte Hornets Upset the Orlando Magic?

Aidan McGrath
Aidan McGrath@ffaidanmcgrath

The Charlotte Hornets have battled through a rough 2023-24 campaign, but they have also managed to post a .500 record over their last 10 outings. Can they upset the Orlando Magic, who are in the midst of just their second winning season in the last 10 years?

According to Fanduel Sportsbook's NBA Odds, the Magic are pretty heavy favorites for this matchup with -375 odds on the moneyline. If they can play up to their usual standards, they're expected to dispatch the Hornets with ease -- even if Charlotte has figured something out in recent weeks.

All NBA odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.

Orlando Magic at Charlotte Hornets Betting Odds

Betting Odds: Spread, Moneyline, and Total

Tipoff: Tuesday (March 5th), 7:00 p.m. ET on Bally Sports

Spread: Magic -8.5 (-110)

Moneyline:

  • Magic: -375
  • Hornets: +300

Total: 207.5

Magic at Hornets Matchup Analysis

The Magic have been having a very strong season by their recent franchise standards. Their 35-26 record ranks sixth-best in the Eastern Conference, and they're pacing to finish with their second winning record over the past 12 seasons. They've played strong defense all year, ranking fifth-best in points allowed (109.9) per game.

The Hornets, by comparison, are having a pretty rough one. According to numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics, they have been the worst team in the league during the 2023-24 season -- a tough feat in a year where the Detroit Pistons set the NBA record for most consecutive losses in a season.

The last time these teams squared off, the Magic pulled off a strong 130-117 victory against a Hornets team that still had players like Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier (who have since been traded), as well as starting center Mark Williams and point guard LaMelo Ball, who have each dealt with major injuries since then.

The Hornets' current lineup looks much different -- and, frankly, worse -- than the last one the Magic faced, but it has somehow managed to win 5 of their last 10 games. That's more wins in 10 games than the team was able to muster in December and January combined.

Have they started to figure something out as the season nears its end, or is their recent ability to win games a flash in the pan?

Hornets rookie Brandon Miller has started to settle in at the NBA level and has averaged over 20 points per game in February and March so far. If the Hornets do manage to pull off an upset here, it will likely come off the back of a standout game from the second overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. FanDuel Sportsbook has set his player points over/under line at 18.5 points for this evening's game, making him an interesting player to add to parlays on tonight's slate.

Magic at Hornets Best Bet

Under 207.5 (-110)

Zooming out on this matchup, the Hornets have averaged the second-fewest points per game (107.6) while the Magic have allowed the fifth-fewest (109.9). That doesn't bode well for a game hitting its over, even with a line set as low as this one's 207.5 mark -- the lowest on tonight's slate by 8.0 points.

Both teams play with slower than average pace, as well, meaning even if this turns into a blowout, it's unlikely to be a game that runs up the scoreboard. The Hornets play at the 20th-fastest pace (97.9 possession per 48 minutes) while the Magic play even slower (87.9).

The Magic have played like the better team for most of the season but have still just been average when it comes to actually scoring points. Besides their slow pace -- which has led to them attempting the second-fewest shots per game -- they're shooting .477 from the field (15th) with the fifth-lowest percentage of their field goals (36.1%) coming from the three-point range.

Both the Hornets (12.5%) and the Magic (13.3%) turn the ball over among the 10 highest rates in the league. With so many offensive possessions turning into turnovers, it could be hard for this game to hit the over.

The Magic should fully be able to set the pace in this game by dominating the boards. Their massive lineup with Goga Bitadze, Paolo Banchero, and Franz Wagner win defensive rebounds at the second-highest rate (77.6%) and offensive rebounds at the seventh-best rate (26%). And if they have their way, this game should end up with a very low final score.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.