NBA

NBA Win Total Betting: Will the Charlotte Hornets Get to 20 Wins?

Aidan McGrath
Aidan McGrath@ffaidanmcgrath

It is fair to say that the Charlotte Hornets did not live up to expectations this season.

It became clear early on that their preseason win total line of 31.5 was a bit out of reach. But can the 15-46 Hornets rally to hit the over on their current win total line of 19.5, per FanDuel Sportsbook's NBA win totals?

All NBA odds via FanDuel Sportsbook. Lines may change after this article is published.

Hornets Win Total Odds

Charlotte Hornets Over/Under 19.5 Wins

  • Over: -118
  • Under: -104

The Season So Far

The Hornets had mild expectations to open the year and more or less performed in line with those expectations early on, going 6-11 through October and November. From there, the wheels really fell off -- the team recorded just 4 more wins across December and January.

After such a poor start -- and injuries to starters like LaMelo Ball and Mark Williams -- the team virtually called it a season at the trade deadline, dealing away veterans like Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward and focusing on the development of 2023 second-overall pick Brandon Miller.

Surprisingly, the team started to pick up wins after the trade deadline despite their future-focused transactions. They have won 5 of their last 10 outings, including an upset victory over an Indiana Pacers team vying for a spot in the playoffs. Those 5 wins brought their current win total up to 15 on the season with 21 games left to go.

The team's Opening Night win over the Atlanta Hawks might sadly end up being the high point of the campaign. But Charlotte could still pick up a few more wins down the stretch as they build some foundations for the 2024-25 season.

Is Their Recent Play a Precursor to a Strong Finish?

After pointing out that the Hornets recently won 5 of their last 10 games, I'd love to be able to point to some evidence that the team has turned things around. For example, the Hornets would certainly like to able to say that Miller has turned a corner and is on his way to becoming an NBA star. Unfortunately, I'm not sure such silver linings exist for this iteration of the Hornets.

While Miller has stepped up his game -- he went from averaging 15.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game from October through January to 20.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.5 assists since February -- his improvement has likely had less to do with the team's "success" than their soft schedule of late.

Apart from the win over the Pacers we mentioned before, none of Charlotte's recent victories came against impressive foes. Their other four wins in February included games against an unbelievably banged-up Memphis Grizzlies team, the Trae Young-less Atlanta Hawks, the mediocre Utah Jazz and the bottoming-out Portland Trail Blazers. These are teams that can reasonably be expected to lose any game -- even against the Hornets.

Can They Get 5 More Wins?

While those victories weren't necessarily impressive themselves, they do show that the Hornets are at least capable of winning basketball games -- something we weren't sure they could actually do in December and January. So, can they pick up 5 more wins over the remaining months of the season?

Looking at the rest of their schedule, there are at least a handful of games that could fall into the winnable category for Charlotte -- they'll face the same Hawks they beat in February two more times and have matchups against teams like the Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons, Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets. That's seven games against bad teams for a Hornets squad that needs only five more wins on the season.

Outside of those games, the rest of their schedule looks pretty unforgiving -- especially with multiple matchups remaining against both the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers as well as a number of clashes against other highly competitive teams. Even with their win over the Pacers, Charlotte is not a team we should count on to beat many quality teams over the remainder of the year.

With that said, it is worth pointing out that the Hornets' final two games of the season will come against the Celtics and Cavs. Both of those teams could end up resting their starters in those final games of the year as they prepare for the NBA playoffs, which could flip those tough matchups into much more winnable ones. If the Hornets can't quite hit five wins against the other struggling teams, they could have some outs to top 19.5 wins if Boston and Cleveland lock in their playoff seeds.

Finally, the Hornets do still have a potential ace up their sleeve that other struggling teams don't -- the possible return of LaMelo Ball. We don't know if Ball will return this year, but if he does, it'll obviously be a boost to the Hornets. The talented young guard has been out since late January with his most recent ankle injury and does not currently have a timetable to return, but the Hornets may want to see what a trio of Ball, Miller, and Miles Bridges would look like on the floor together.

With all of that in mind, I personally lean towards the optimistic view and would take the over on Charlotte's 19.5-win line. The Hornets accrued a boatload of losses during the most competitive part of the season but have shown enough on the court in recent weeks to grind out a few wins. I like the Hornets' chances to notch at least five more Ws.


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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.