Charlotte continues its pursuit of a playoff spot playing without its leading scorer, while the Lakers continue playing out the string on a lost season. But to our more immediate concerns; who will cover the spread when the Hornets host LA Tuesday night?
Lakers-Hornets Betting Odds
The NBA odds opened this game with Charlotte as low as -7, others at as high as -9. By mid-Tuesday morning that spread had balanced out to -8 across the NBA betting market. Also, the total on this game opened at around 192, then moved to 193.
Those thinking LA might win this game outright could get +328 on the moneyline at 5Dimes.
Charlotte recently lost five games in a row, as it plugs along without Kemba Walker (19 PPG), who tore a knee last month. The Hornets then snapped that losing streak with a 98-86 upset at Chicago last Wednesday, then lost at Boston Friday 106-98, but won Sunday at Orlando 98-83. Charlotte led the Magic by 17 in the third quarter, saw that lead slip to four points early in the fourth, then pulled away and covered at -2 on the road.
The Hornets shot 50 percent from the floor Sunday, while holding Orlando to just 37 percent.
To help fill the holes in the stat sheets due to Walker's absence Charlotte picked up Mo Williams from Minnesota just before the All-Star break; after tossing in 23 points and dishing out 11 assists Sunday he's averaging 23 PPG in five games for his new team.
At 24-33 Charlotte sits in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, but it's just a half-game behind eighth-place Brooklyn. And the Hornets hope to get Walker back sometime this month.
The Lakers, meanwhile, had won three games in a row, beating Boston, Utah and Milwaukee, but Sunday lost at home to Oklahoma City 108-101, even though the Thunder were without both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. LA trailed throughout Sunday's game, got within six halfway through the fourth quarter, but faded. And in going just 12/18 from the FT line the Lakers missed on the spread as four-point home dogs.
At 16-42 LA is four losses behind New York in the battle for the best chance at the No. 1 pick in the next NBA draft.
The Lakers took the first meeting between these teams this season back in November in LA 107-92. Charlotte led that game by nine at the half, but the Lakers won the second half 65-41. LA shot 51 percent from the floor that night, and won outright as a two-point home dog.
That game played UNDER its total of 202.
The Lakers have taken six of the last seven meeting with the Hornets, stretching back to 2001. But they're a different team now.
LA ranks 24th in the league in FG shooting at 43.5 percent, and 29th in FG defense, allowing opponents to shoot 46.5 percent from the field.
Charlotte ranks 29th in shooting at 42 percent but eighth in FG defense, holding foes to just under 44 percent from the floor.
These two teams are actually among the best in the league at taking care of the ball; Charlotte ranks No. 1 in fewest turnovers at just 11 per game, while the Lakers rank fourth at 12 turnovers per contest.
Charlotte is 13-16 SU, 11-18 ATS at home this season.
LA is 7-22 SU, 12-15 ATS on the road.
Charlotte is 27-30 on the totals this season, as Hornets games have averaged 191 points.
LA is 27-29 on the totals, even as Lakers games have averaged 206 points, among the most in the league. They've also played five OVERS in a row, hitting the century mark on the scoreboard each of their last five games.
Charlotte is 7-7 SU and 9-5 ATS this season without Walker, indicating his absence might be overrated slightly by the odds makers.
For LA Nick Young (13 PPG) has missed recent action with a sore knee of his own, and he's very questionable for tonight.
Oh, yeah, and Kobe's still out, too.
Lakers-Hornets Free Pick
Neither of these teams inspires a whole lot of betting confidence at the moment, but LA has played some decent ball over the last ten days or so, while Charlotte is 0-3 ATS the last three times it's been favored by six points or more. And tonight's spread appears slightly inflated. So we'll take the Lakers and the points with our NBA picks.
Free NBA Pick: Los Angeles +8 at Pinnacle