Charlotte Hornets vs. Washington Wizards – March 30, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| March 30, 2021 2:47 am PDT

The Hornets travel to the capital state to take on the Wizards in this All-Southeast Divisional matchup. Although Charlotte leads the way in the Division, there isn’t much separating them and their two closest rivals, Atlanta and Miami. Therefore, they must not take their foot off the gas this evening. A win tonight will also see them jump up to fourth in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards are still chasing down the last pre-playoff spot, and therefore it seems like every game is a must-win one right now.

These two teams have alternated wins in their previous five encounters, which is good news for Washington as if that trend continued tonight, it would be them that picked of the victory. Another good omen for Washington is that this fixture has been won by the home team on the day on the previous four occasions that it has been played. The Wizards have also won four of the last five meetings in Washington. However, they last met at the beginning of February, and the Hornets firmly put the Wizards in their place with a crushing 22-point win. The Wizards could not shoot that night and came away with a field goal percentage of 37% and a success rate of only 22% from the three-point range.

Let’s look at the betting trends for each team, and then I will provide my Hornets vs. Wizards betting prediction.

Hornets vs. Wizards Match Odds 

Hornets -1-110
Wizards +1-110
Hornets To Win-110
Wizards To Win+110
Over 233.5 Points-110
Under 233.5 Points-110

I’m somewhat surprised that the spread isn’t a couple of points bigger given the Hornet’s superior game record this season. The points total looks a little high and is worth exploring further also.

When they met last month, the Wizards were the marginal favorites to win the game. It, therefore, shows you what type of form both teams have been in since that game.

The Hornets have a good record as favorites this season, having won eight of the 12 games they have played as such.

Hornets Analysis

The Hornet’s three-game win streak came to an end a couple of days ago with a narrow overtime loss against the Suns. However, they feel hard done by with the defeat as they believe a goal-tending call that went against them cost them victory. Despite the loss, their defense has looked excellent as of late as they have reduced their opponents to regular time scores of 97, 97, 105, and 90.

Their record on the road has been slightly sub-standard as they have won ten and lost 13 of their 23 away fixtures. However, they have won back-to-back games on the road for the first time since the beginning of January with wins over the Spurs and the Rockets. If they are to win tonight, they will have to do something they have failed to do all season, and that is win three games on the road in a row.

Here are the latest betting trends for Charlotte:

  • They have won four of their last five games against the spread.
  • Five of their previous six matches have gone under the betting total.
  • The Hornets have beaten the Wizards on five old the last seven occasions they have met.
  • Only one of their previous five matches on the road has failed to go under the points total.
  • Nine of their prior 11 visits to Washington have seen the betting total go over.
  • They have only lost one of their previous eight matches against Eastern Conference opposition.
  • Charlotte has won seven of their last eight games against teams from the Southeast Division.

The above data highlights the fact that the Hornets are playing well right now. It also confirms that they seem to like the familiarity of playing against teams in their Division.

The Hornets have a below-average offense this season which has only averaged 111 points per game. Despite that, they are usually pretty accurate at shooting from deep which could come in handy in what is expected to be a close contest.

The good news is their attack has been marginally better on the road this season and has averaged a couple of points extra per game.

Charlotte’s biggest offensive asset is their quick passing game which has led to many assists this season. However, it has become sloppy on occasions, which has also led to a large number of turnovers.

Although their defense has performed much better recently, throughout the season, it has been below par. Their high-pressing defensive unit has failed more often than not, and they are getting caught out in behind time and time again.

What is more concerning is that they have defended worse on the road and have conceded on average three more points per game that offsets their better attack on the road.

The Hornets will be without Ball for this matchup, but Monk is expected to return to the line-up following a recent foot injury.

Wizards Analysis

The Wizards have won back-to-back games for the first time this month, and they will be hoping to carry that momentum into this game and hopefully push for the last pre-playoff spot. This has been mainly down to Russell Westbrook’s heroics, who in his 38 games with the Wizards has already become the franchise’s all-time leader in triple-doubles.

They will also be encouraged by the fact they have won their previous three matches in Washington. The last time they won three home games in a row, they went on to win a fourth, and they will be hoping for more of the same tonight. Their record at home is similar to that of the Hornets away one as they have won ten and lost 14 of their 24 home fixtures. However, since the middle of February, their home form has picked up, and they have won eight of their last 13 home games.

Here are the latest betting trends for Washington:

  • The Wizards have won four of their previous six matches against the spread.
  • They have lost eight of their last 11 games.
  • Four of their previous six games against Charlotte have gone under the betting total.
  • Washington is 9-4 against the spread in their last 13 home games.
  • They have only won two of their previous nine matches against teams from the east coast.
  • Four of their last five games against teams based in the Southeast Division have gone under the points total.

Despite their form not being great, it is clear to see that the bookmakers have underestimated the Wizards often recently. The above stats also point towards a low-scoring game.

The Wizards have a good offense that is averaging 114 points per game this season. Although unlike their opponents tonight, they haven’t shot well from distance which could be a vital area of the game given this could potentially be a close one.

Their attack at home has been even more potent, and they have averaged four more points per game which makes them the second-best home offense in the league this season.

Washington’s defense is terrible and non-existent most nights. They are conceding on average 119 points per game, making them the worst defense in the NBA this season.

They need to get back to basics and start doing the simple things much better, like making more blocks per game. They need to maintain a better shape and remain disciplined throughout the game, which has been a real problem this season.

Star player Bradley Beal must be wondering what more he can do for his team as he leads the league for points scored this season. It’s no surprise that he has been the main focus of many trade rumors this season. But to be fair to Beal, he has come out every time and squashed those rumors and showing his commitment to the Wizards. However, if they fail to see post-season basketball this year, surely, it will only be a matter of time before he is on his way.

The injuries are starting to mount up for the Wizards at the worst time possible. They will be without Smith, Bertans, and Bryant, while Beal and Gafford remain doubts to feature.

Hornets vs. Wizards Betting Pick

Pick
  • Under 233.5 Points
    -110

Whichever way you look at this game, it is a tough one to call, and I, for one struggling to pick a winner here. I like how the Hornets are defending at present, and if Beal is missing for the Wizards, Charlotte could find it much easier to stop their incredible attack. The Hornets have thrived in low-scoring games recently, and I believe they could look to make this game no different. They have combined for an average score of 227 points per game over their previous ten meetings, which would see them comfortably under the point’s total tonight. Their offenses are also averaging 225 points between them this season, and therefore I will pick under the point’s total tonight.

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