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It’s a Southeast Division matchup between a pair of teams chasing a playoff spot in the nation’s capital. The Charlotte Hornets are on the road as they visit the Washington Wizards Friday night. Charlotte was dumped 118-106 on the road by Houston Monday night in their last contest. Washington defeated Orlando 100-90 at home in another Southeast Division contest Tuesday night. The Hornets lead the all-time regular season series 61-52. This season, the Hornets have won two of three meetings, including a 112-111 home win in the last matchup March 8.
Charlotte Hornets Hope to Regroup
Charlotte dropped their second straight contest as they were dumped on the road by Houston. The Hornets entered Thursday 10th in the Eastern Conference, two games behind the Heat for the final playoff spot. Charlotte was down 38-19 after the opening quarter and trailed by 27 at the half: they were unable to get closer than 10 the rest of the way despite a concerted effort to make a run. The Hornets shot 42.7 percent from the field, including 16 of 41 from three-point range, and lost the rebounding battle 55-39. Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 40 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in the loss.
Another tough one, but Captain Walker finished with a near triple-double performance (40-10-7)
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) March 12, 2019
The Hornets are an average team offensively, ranking 19th in the league with 110.8 points per game. Charlotte is 23rd in rebounding with 44.1 boards per game and 23rd by dishing out 23.2 assists per contest. The Hornets come in ranked 18th in scoring defense by allowing 111.8 points per game. The Hornets are 25th in field goal percentage as the team shoots 44.9 percent from the floor. Charlotte is tied for 9th in the league with 11.9 threes per game while ranking tied for 16th in three-point shooting as they hit 35.2 percent from beyond the arc. The Hornets are just 3-7 in their last 10 games: they are 18th in scoring offense with 110.8 points a game in that stretch. Defense has been an issue as Charlotte is 20th in field goal percentage defense (46.1 percent) and 11th in three-point field goal percentage (34.7 percent) in that span. Kemba Walker leads the way for the Hornets with 26.3 points and 6.7 assists per game. He hit 34.4 percent from three-point range while jacking up 9.3 three-point attempts a night. Cody Zeller (12.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, 53.8 percent shooting) is back at full speed and has given the Hornets a reasonable low post threat on the offensive end of the floor. Jeremy Lamb has stepped up of late as a secondary scoring option as he puts up 14.7 points plus 5.5 boards and 5.6 assists a night in that stretch.
Washington Wizards Shoot for Third Straight Win, Look to Gain Ground in Playoff Race
Washington outlasted Orlando in a Southeast Division matchup to earn their second straight win. The Wizards entered Thursday 11th in the Eastern Conference, 3.5 games behind the Heat for the final playoff spot. Washington led by one after the opening quarter, by eight at the half and by two after three quarters. With the game tied at 80 with 7:57 to play in the game, the Wizards rode an 11-2 run to take control of the contest. The Wizards shot 46.7 percent from the field, including eight of 27 from three-point range, and held Orlando to 38.9 percent shooting. Bradley Beal led Washington with 23 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the win.
— NBA (@NBA) March 14, 2019
The Wizards are 7th in the league in scoring offense with 114.4 points per game. Washington is 27th in the league on the glass with 41.8 boards per game. The Wizards are 5th with 26.7 assists per game. Washington is 29th in the league as they allow 116.8 points per game on the year. Washington is tied for 8th in field goal percentage as the team shoots a collective 47 percent from the floor. The Wizards are 12th in the league with 11.6 triples a night while ranking 25th in three-point shooting. Washington hits 34.4 percent from downtown this season. The Wizards are 5-5 in their last 10 games as they continue to struggle defensively. Washington is 23rd in the league in that 10-game stretch in scoring defense as they allow 116.1 points per game and 21st in field goal percentage defense as opposing teams shoot 46.5 percent from the floor. Bradley Beal has been torching the nets of late with 29.4 points plus 7.1 assists a night while shooting 48.6 percent from the floor. Bobby Portis chips in 14.1 points plus 9.9 rebounds a night in that stretch. Dwight Howard suffered a setback during his rehab for a back issue as he tweaked his hamstring. His return status is in doubt. His absence has given Thomas Bryant (10.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 56.5 percent shooting) extended run.
- Wizards are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
- Wizards are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games
- Wizards are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record
- Hornets are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
- Hornets are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
- Hornets are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This one is critical for both teams as they try to make up ground on Miami in the Southeast Division as the Heat owns the final playoff spot in the East. Washington has won two straight, downing Sacramento and Orlando at home in those games. The Wizards are 20-12 at home while Charlotte is just 9-23 on the road this season. Beal has been on fire of late and the deal to bring in Portis and Parker from Chicago for Otto Porter Jr. has seemingly paid dividends for them. Charlotte is struggling with back to back losses and they have issues on the road. Give the edge to the Wizards in this contest.
Prediction: Washington Wizards -3.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Charlotte has struggled a bit defensively of late and they’re going to have to deal with a Washington team that has some confidence coming into this one. The Wizards have won back to back games and they are trying to push back into the playoff race. Beal has been tremendous and it will be a challenge for the Hornets to try shutting him down. Zeller is doubtful for this one, which means Frank Kaminsky or Bismack Biyombo is going to have to step up and contribute. Can Charlotte pick up the road win here?
The over is 4-0 in the Hornets’ last 4 road games, 6-1 in their last 7 vs. a team with a losing straight up record, 5-1 in their last 6 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game and 5-1 in their last 6 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. Washington has seen the over go 13-3 in their last 16 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game, 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400 and 10-3 in their last 13 against Eastern Conference foes. The over is 7-1 in their last eight meetings in Washington and 6-2 in their last eight meetings overall. Look for this one to go over the total given the way both teams have sputtered defensively this season.
Prediction: Over 232