Hornets vs Clippers Picks and Predictions: L.A. Beats Down on Charlotte

Charlotte has had a horrific this season thus far, and now it must head to Los Angeles to take on a Clippers side finding its stride. With Kawhi getting back into form, our NBA betting picks are backing L.A. to cover.

Last Updated: Dec 21, 2022 1:12 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Los Angeles Clippers NBA
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The Charlotte Hornets have snapped their eight-game losing streak following a 125-119 win on Monday. They will try to snowball that into some appreciable momentum on Wednesday night in their third game of a six-game road stretch.

They'll face off against the Los Angeles Clippers who are winners in three of their last four, catapulting into the five seed of the Western Conference and within two games of the top spot. A win against Charlotte is much needed to stay above water in the West, where just 2.5 games separate the top seed from the No. 7 seed.

Can Paul George and the Clips secure an expected win at home or will the visitors put together back-to-back games for just the second time this season?

Continue reading for our free NBA betting picks and predictions for the Hornets vs. Clippers on Wednesday, December 21.

Hornets vs Clippers best odds

Hornets vs Clippers picks and predictions

Make no mistake about it, the Charlotte Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers are on entirely different trajectories no matter whether you look in the short term or at the bigger picture.

The Hornets have just eight wins through mid-December and have only strung together consecutive wins once this season. Quite frankly, they're a larger competitor in the Victor Wembayanma sweepstakes than they are in the race to even make the play-in tournament.

There is nothing wrong with that, and it certainly doesn't mean that night-to-night they can't pose a threat just like any other NBA team. The sixth-seeded Kings learned that the hard way on Monday night when they lost to Charlotte despite the Hornets coming into that game on an eight-game losing streak.

But that win may have raised the guard of fifth-seeded Los Angeles who will host the Hornets on Wednesday night. The Clippers are winners of four of their last five and are starting to hit their groove with the returning Kawhi Leonard getting up to game speed and closer to his expected form as of late.

During that stretch, Kawhi is averaging 22.0 points on 49.3% shooting, chipping in 8.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks as well. The scariest part is that there is plenty of room to raise L.A.'s ceiling, especially when (not if) the former two-time Finals MVP finds his shot from deep. Heading into Wednesday night, Leonard is shooting just 23.3% from three.

A date with the Hornets may be exactly what he needs to get going, despite what stats may suggest at first glance. On the season, Charlotte ranks 13th in 3-point percentage allowed, but since Lamelo Ball's return on December 14th (who is not a plus-perimeter defender) the Hornets have allowed the second-worst 3-point percentage (41.5%).

And while the Clippers rank just 18th in 3-point attempts on the season, they have ranked 11th since Leonard's return on December 5. The gravity he possesses on offense opens up things for the likes of Paul George (38%), Marcus Morris (37%), Reggie Jackson (36%), Norman Powell (38%), and Luke Kennard (49%) — all of whom average four or more 3-point attempts per game.

LaMelo's return hasn't fared as well for Charlotte in that respect. The Hornets are second in the league in 3-point attempts since his return (44.3 per game) but they have shot at the fifth-worst clip during that time (33.1%). Los Angeles allows the fourth-lowest percentage from deep on the season (33.8%) and that mark has even improved since Kawhi's return (32.1%).

The number may be relatively large, but the season-long stats don't paint the most accurate picture, and the matchup is even more lopsided when considering the splits since each team has had one of their stars return.

My best bet: Clippers -8 (-107 at PointsBet)

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Hornets vs Clippers spread analysis

The spread opened with the Clippers as seven-point favorites but they have since moved as high as -8.5 at some shops, which suggests that both Paul George (day-to-day) and Kawhi Leonard are very likely to play.

Los Angeles is an even 16-16 against the spread this season and is also 5-5 as home favorites. It has covered in five of its last seven, and in the last three games where it was favored by five or more points.

The Hornets are 14-16-1 ATS this season but have fared better as road underdogs (7-5-1). However, they are one of the league's worst teams coming off of a win, having gone 2-5 ATS in that split. That marks the. fourth-worst record this year.

They have covered in their last two, but failed to cover in the four prior to that and have only covered in three straight games once this season.

Hornets vs Clippers Over/Under analysis

The total opened at 225 and has since stayed at that number across most shops.

Los Angeles has played to the best Unders record this year, going 21-11 that way (65.6%). At home, it has gone an absurd 15-2 to the Under, and 9-1 as favorites.

Since Leonard's return on December 5, the Clippers have gone 4-4 on totals. However, they started 4-0 to the Over (when Kawhi was playing less and still getting up to game speed) and since then have gone 4-0 to the Under — with all four of those totals at or below (some as low as 218 to 219) tonight's number.

The Hornets have gone 16-15 to the Over this year, but have played more favorably that way on the road (their 11-5 Over record is fourth-best in that split). But again, the common theme here is that they fall flat following a win, and their totals record is a bit more even in that split (4-3 to the Over).

They have gone Under in two of the last three following an eight-game stretch during which they went Over in six games. They have gone 10-8 to the Under in games with totals at or below tonight's number of 225.

Hornets vs Clippers betting trend to know

On top of having the best Unders record in the league at 21-11, the Clippers have also gone 15-2 to the Under at home and 9-1 to the Under as home favorites.. Find more NBA betting trends for Hornets vs. Clippers.

Hornets vs Clippers game info

Location: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Tip-off: 10:30 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports

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