Game: Charlotte Hornets at Sacramento Kings
Time: 10:10 p.m. ET
Odds: Hornets +1.5, Kings -1.5
The Charlotte Hornets started the new NBA season with four wins in their first five games. Now, they have lost three of their last four and have some injury concerns as they head to Sacramento where the Kings are coming off a 112-99 win over New Orleans on Wednesday.
P.J. Washington has an elbow injury and has been downgraded to doubtful for tonight’s game against the Kings. Point guard LaMelo Ball is nursing a hip injury, but he is listed as questionable for tonight. Ball is expected to play but might not be at full strength.
As a result, Charlotte may have to rely more on Ish Smith and Terry Rozier. Neither has been all that impressive this season. Rozier has started four games and is averaging 12 points per. Smith plays just over 18 minutes a game off the bench and scores 6.8 points and dishes out 3.6 assists.
The Hornets are actually the highest-scoring team in the NBA averaging nearly 115 points per game. They still hold that distinction despite scoring a season-low 92 points in their last game, a 114-92 loss to Golden State. Charlotte is ranked fourth in offensive efficiency and five players average in double figures with Washington at 9.9 per game.
The problem for Charlotte is on defense. Whereas the Hornets lead the NBA in scoring, they are dead last in scoring defense. They give up 114.9 points per game. Charlotte has allowed 111 or more points in all but one game so far this season.
The Kings, ironically, were known last year as a team that could run and score but didn’t play much defense. Sacramento isn’t quite that bad this year as they average 109.9 (12th) points on offense and they allow 111.1 (24th) on defense.
What the Kings need is for De’Aaron Fox to turn up his game on offense. He has underwhelmed so far averaging just 17.9 points and 6.5 assists a game. Harrison Barnes is the team’s leading scorer with 23.3 points per game. Fox did play well against New Orleans shooting 57.1 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from three-point range. He scored 19 points and dished out five assists.
The Kings are 5-3 ATS this season and 4-1 ATS in their last five games. Charlotte has had a difficult time against the spread with just a 2-4 ATS record in the last six games. The Hornets have covered just once in their last four games and that was as a 2-point underdog against Portland. Charlotte beat the Trail Blazers 125-113.
Being the top-scoring team in the NBA, the Hornets have trended Over in game totals. The Over is 7-3 in Charlotte’s last ten games overall. In the last 15 games played between Charlotte and Sacramento, the Over has cashed in 10 of them. The Kings have seen the Under hit in eight of the team’s last 11 games. The Under has also hit in four of the Kings’ last five home games.