The Indiana Pacers and the Charlotte Hornets could end up being direct rivals for the playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Pacers visit North Carolina, which will be their last stop on a two-week road trip that got them wandering all over the US. Meanwhile, the Hornets are hot and well-rested because they didn’t travel in the last few days. This is going to be their third consecutive event at Spectrum Center, and so far this season, we’ve seen them pretty confident here. After all, they recently took down the league-leading Golden State Warriors.
Indiana Pacers (6-10, +125) have back-to-back defeats against the New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons, both on the road. We need to say that the Pacers hit the road back on November 6, since then playing only one game at home and six all over the country. Pretty exhausting, you have to admit.
Indiana’s offense slowed down significantly in the previous two events, scoring 84 and 89 points, which is terrible, yet it is something normal in the given circumstances. On the other side, the rivals didn’t reach 100 buckets, but that is not a big comfort for Rick Carlisle.
Two of the best players are, without any doubt, Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis, and in recent times, Caris LeVert is showing flashes of his potential. Against the Pistons, Brogdon scored 20 points, LeVert 18, while Sabonis added 15 with 11 boards. Though the bench’s contribution was miserable – 30 points. It was the main reason for this loss.
Charlotte Hornets (9-7, -150) are on a four-game winning streak, and may we add that the Hornets looked very, very confident during the same. At first, they beat the Grizzlies on the road, before posting three victories at home, vs. Knicks, Warriors, and the Wizards.
Now all these teams are playoff contenders, the Warriors, even the NBA title candidate. So all these wins have to mean something. Five of the Hornets’ players score 10 or more points per game, and that balanced offense is something that presents massive problems for the rivals.
Miles Bridges is playing the season of his life with 21.3 points per match, plus 7.5 boards, and for the moment, he and Lonzo Ball are carrying this team. The veterans, Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier, are only backups, even though it might be a harsh word to say.
Head to Head Games
We’ve already seen one head-to-head game this year between these teams. It was a super exciting matchup in Charlotte that saw the hosts winning 123-122. Ball scored 31 points for the Hornets and Hayward 27. On the other side, Sabonis dropped 33, Brogdon 28, and Chris Duarte 27. A well-balanced offense prevailed in this case.
The fatigue is definitely the main problem for the Pacers, who cannot endure the current rhythm. On the other side, we have the Hornets, riding on a massive positive momentum with players in excellent shape. Plus, they didn’t move away from Charlotte, as mentioned previously. Due to this, our pick is the hosts’ win, with the spread, which is currently set at -3. The odds on our recommendation are -110.
Pick: Hornets -3
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.