Hornets vs Lakers Prediction, Picks & Player Props (12/23): Will another big night from LeBron lead the way?
With the news that Anthony Davis is out indefinitely due to a stress fracture in his right foot, things aren’t exactly looking up for the Los Angeles Lakers right now. But they have to pick themselves up and handle the visiting Charlotte Hornets tonight at Crypto.com Arena (10:30 pm ET/7:30 pm local time).
With Davis playing out of his mind, it looked like the Lakers might be on the way to turning around an awful start to the season. But since he went down against the Denver Nuggets last Friday, the Lakers have lost two of three games, not counting their win over Denver.
Even a game against the Hornets, who have lost nine of their last ten games, may not offer much of a lift. Charlotte may be struggling, but LeBron and the shorthanded Lakers are only favored by a small margin.
Will they be able to put the news about AD behind them and pick up their 14th win of the season tonight? Keep reading for our Hornets vs Lakers prediction, as well as our picks for the matchup.
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And hey, you can knock out those three SGPs tonight, as there are 14 games on the NBA slate tonight.
Charlotte Hornets vs Los Angeles Lakers Odds
- Charlotte Hornets +3 (-114)
- Los Angeles Lakers -3 (-106)
- Over 242 (-110)
- Under 242 (-110)
- Charlotte Hornets +128
- Los Angeles Lakers -152
Will the Comforts of Home Bring Better Results for the Lakers?
After beating the Nuggets last Friday and then edging out the Washington Wizards on Sunnday, the Lakers went on the road and laid two eggs.
First, they were beaten by 26 at Phoenix on Monday, then they went down by 14 at Sacramento on Wednesday. In both losses, they gave up 130+ points, allowing that exact number against the Suns and 134 against the Kings.
Since beating the Bucks and Wizards on the road to start December, the Lakers are only 1-5 on the road and have given up 116, 126, 133, 117 (at Detroit in the lone win), 130, and 134 points.
But L.A. has been much better at home since losing five of seven at home to start the season. Across their last eight home games, the Lakers are 6-2, losing only to the Pacers in a game that they threw away and to the Celtics in overtime.
It does have to be mentioned that, to this point, they have played only one home game without AD, which was Monday’s win over the Wizards.
That’s not exactly a big sample size, but there are some encouraging numbers from the win over Washington. They made exactly 50 percent of their shots from the field and shot 40.7 percent from three, and all five starters scored in double figures.
The most outstanding stat from that game is LeBron’s zero turnovers. That was only the second time he has done that this season, with the other time coming in the win at Milwaukee on December 2.
Charlotte Hornets vs Los Angeles Lakers Prediction and Picks
Hornets vs Lakers Prediction: Lakers to win
Hornets vs Lakers Picks: Lakers to cover (Best Value: -3 @ -106 at FanDuel)
Unless something changes compared to what we have seen when they have been without at least one of their stars this season and the previous two, the Lakers aren’t likely to win too many games while AD is out.
But this is a good spot for them to do so, and they are worth backing with a fairly small spread. Now, I absolutely don’t recommend putting a significant amount of your bankroll on it, but they are more trustworthy on their home floor than they are elsewhere.
And as nice as Charlotte’s win at Sacramento was, they reverted back to form on Wednesday in this same venue against the Clippers, falling by 21.
The Lakers aren’t a great defensive team, but the Hornets are worse. So, just like the win over the Wizards on Monday, they won’t necessarily be sunk if they give up 115+ points.
Charlotte Hornets vs Los Angeles Lakers Player Props
LeBron James over 31.5 points (Best Value: -105 at BetMGM)
After scoring 30+ points five times in his first 18 games this season, LeBron has matched that number in his last five games, going for 35, 33, 30, 33, and 31.
The Lakers dropped the first three games in which he scored 30+ points this season, but they are 5-2 in the last seven. So, if he has his 11th such performance tonight, the odds are in the home team’s favor.
Given the load he has to shoulder right now, any point total in the low 30s is solid value.
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Eddie Griffin has been writing about and Betting on sports for over a decade. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.