The Denver Nuggets will be hosting the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night and will look to capture another win at home. After beating the LA Clippers 114-104 on Sunday, the Nuggets are doing what they can to place themselves firmly at the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference. With the Jazz a half-game ahead of them in the standings, the Nuggets need to win at home to tie Utah.
The Hornets are coming into this game as heavy underdogs, which is no surprise. With a record of 15-28, nobody is expecting the Hornets to come out of this one a winner, which explains the large 12.5-point spread. Charlotte would probably buy a win if it could, as it is currently on a five-game losing streak.
With both teams needing a win for separate reasons and the spread being so large, I wouldn’t be surprised if you wanted to stay away from this one. However, let’s evaluate both teams and see who can cover the spread.
Wishing For A Win
The Hornets are horrible, clearly not the worst team in the NBA but not anywhere near good. With Charlotte boasting a record of 15-28 with a road record of 8-15, it’s hard to come up with anything good to say about this team. From a statistical standpoint, the only thing the Hornets do well is shoot from the three-point line (35.48 percent), ranking 15th in the league. They’ll need a lot of threes to keep up with the Nuggets.
Some good news for this one is that the Hornets will be coming in at full strength, which could help them overcome a five-game losing streak. To be fair, all the teams they’ve lost to are clearly much better. Their most recent win was a surprising upset against the Dallas Mavericks, a game in which the Hornets were 11.5-point underdogs.
Against the spread is where the Hornets have shined recently, going 5-2 in their last seven games. Although their record straight up on the road is awful, they’ve done well to cover the spread on the road with a 4-1 record in their last five games.
An interesting trend to take into consideration is that Charlotte is 8-4 ATS in their last 12 games against Denver.
Separating From The Herd
The Denver Nuggets are the opposite of the Hornets, as in the categories Charlotte struggles with, Denver excels. Being one of the best teams in the Western Conference is no easy task, with teams like the Rockets and Clippers hot on the Nuggets’ trail, Denver knows it must play its best ball.
Most of the Nuggets’ success has been due to Nikola Jokic, who leads the team in points and assists per game. He hasn’t done it all on his own, though, with help from guys like Jamal Murray, the Nuggets have worked their way near the top of the West.
The spread has been kind to the Nuggets recently, as they’ve gone 4-2 in their last six games. However, Denver hasn’t been great at covering spreads over 10 points, and the Hornets are getting spotted 12.5.
Pick and Prediction
The Nuggets are coming into this game with some key injuries, as Paul Millsap and Gary Harris still haven’t been cleared to play. Although they aren’t the top scorers on the team, their absence would give the Hornets more time to focus on Jokic and Murray. The Nuggets also haven’t been great at covering large spreads.
The Hornets have done well at covering spreads, most recently a nine-point spread against the Trail Blazers and an 8.5-point spread against the Suns. With the Hornets being able to pull off upsets as they did against the Mavericks, I’ve got to take the points in this one. Give me the Hornets +12.5.