Nuggets vs Hornets Picks and Predictions: Charlotte Keeps Buzzing

Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets are heading to Charlotte to take on the Hornets and while Jokic should have no problem getting his MVP numbers, our NBA betting picks and predictions are leaning on the Hornets at home.

Last Updated: Mar 28, 2022 9:44 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
LaMelo Ball Charlotte Hornets NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Hornets are fresh off of an impressive upset win over the Brooklyn Nets and they’ll now try to keep the momentum going when they head back to North Carolina to host the Denver Nuggets. 

Will LaMelo Ball & Co. stay hot with a win over Nikola Jokic’s squad? Keep reading our NBA picks and predictions for Nuggets vs. Hornets to find out. 

Nuggets vs Hornets odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Hornets were 3.5-point underdogs when this game first hit betting markets and it seems as though there’s some juice on the Nuggets here. With that said, it wouldn’t be surprising if this line moved to -4 at some point. The total, meanwhile, is down from 232 to 231.5 across most books. 

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Nuggets vs Hornets predictions

Predictions made on 3/28/2022 at 1:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Nuggets vs Hornets game info

Location: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
Date: Monday, March 28, 2022
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Southeast-CHA, Altitude Sports

Nuggets vs Hornets betting preview

Key injuries

Nuggets: Facundo Campazzo G (Questionable), Zeke Nnaji C (Questionable), Vlatko Cancar F (Out), Michael Porter Jr. F (Out), Jamal Murray G (Out).
Hornets: Gordon Hayward F (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Nuggets are 2-7 against the spread in their last nine games as favorites. Find more NBA betting trends for Nuggets vs. Hornets.

Nuggets vs Hornets picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

Not only are the Nuggets just 2-7 against the spread in their last nine games as favorites, but the Hornets are 6-2 both SU and ATS in their last eight games.

This Charlotte team hasn’t been able to find much consistency without Hayward in the lineup this year, but the team is finally starting to show some real signs of life these past few weeks.

One of the reasons they’re rolling right now is that LaMelo Ball has been really efficient as a scorer lately. The 20-year-old had 33 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds in a win over the Nets last time out, and he is now shooting 46% from the field, 41.7% from three and 93.1% from the charity stripe in the month of March. Look for him to play yet another good game against a Nuggets team that is weak in the backcourt. 

Charlotte will also have an advantage overall at the guard and forward spots, where Terry Rozier, Miles Bridges, Kelly Oubre Jr., and P.J. Washington are all rock-solid options in the team’s rotation.

With Porter out for Denver, the team just doesn’t have that same depth, which will make it hard for the team to keep up if the Hornets turn this into a track meet — which is something they will definitely do.

This Hornets team is fifth in the league in pace this season, which played a huge role in beating this Nuggets team back in December. Denver likes to walk it up the floor and play through Jokic in the half-court, but Charlotte just isn’t going to let this game slow down too much. 

The Hornets are also going to be fine letting Jokic score the ball in this one, as long as his teammates aren’t going off on the offensive end. It’s hard to think of a player that is likely to step things up for Denver, especially with Charlotte having a good amount of wings it can use to defend guys like Will Barton and Aaron Gordon. 

I'm taking the points with Charlotte here.

Prediction: Hornets +3.5 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

Most sportsbooks have already lowered this total down to 231.5, but you might be able to find it a little higher. Either way, you should expect this game to be a little lower scoring than the oddsmakers have this number set at.

While the Hornets will definitely want to speed the Nuggets up in this one, the team could be a little out of it after having played on the road last night. It’s never easy to be sharp on the second night of a back-to-back, so it could take a little time for Charlotte to find its legs. Also, if this is a closer game down the stretch, this game will slow down a bit — especially when the ball is in Jokic’s hands. 

The total was similarly high when these teams met in Denver back in December, but the two combined to score only 222 points. That one easily went Under the total and this could be a lot like that one. 

The Under is actually 6-2 in Denver's last eight road games, and it’s 20-8 in the last 28 games that the Nuggets have played as road favorites. On a similar note, the Under is also 10-2 in the last 12 games that the Hornets have played as home underdogs. 

Prediction: Under 232

Best bet

Jokic isn’t always going to get on the court and look to score first, but this is probably a night in which you’ll see the big man being rather aggressive as a scorer.

Only seven teams in the league have a worse defensive rating than the Hornets this season and one of Charlotte’s biggest problems on that end of the floor is that the team is missing a legitimate rim protector. The Hornets are going to be using Mason Plumlee and Montrezl Harrell on Jokic in this one, which is a recipe for a huge night for last year’s MVP. 

When these teams met earlier in the year, Jokic had 29 points in an 8-point loss for the Nuggets. This Denver team has, however, turned a corner since then, with both Jokic and his teammates getting better shots on the offensive end.

With that, don’t be surprised if the center has at least 30 in this one. Either way, this total is just far too low considering Jokic would have hit the Over in their last meeting, despite shooting 13 of 34 from the field.  

Pick: Nikola Jokic Over 26.5 points (-118)

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