Celtics vs. Hornets Odds
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
Today is one of the best days of the year: Martin Luther King Jr Day.
Not only do we get a full day of basketball, but the league goes out of its way to honor one of our countries greatest men with segments dedicated telling his story, and the story of social justice in this country, as a whole.For anyone who loves basketball, as well as our nation, it’s a really cool day.
The slate kicks off bright and early with a 1 p.m. ET matchup on NBA TV between the top and bottom team in the Eastern Conference, with the 32-12 Boston Celtics staying in Charlotte after their 122-106 win on Saturday to take on the 11-33 Charlotte Hornets in the second half of this duplex-style double-header the NBA has leaned into in seasons past.
Here’s a look at the Celtics vs. Hornets odds along with two picks with value.
The Celtics have played the last two games without their second-best player, Jaylen Brown, who will be out one-to-two weeks with left abductor tightness. The Celtics haven’t lost a step without him, though, picking up road wins over the Brooklyn Nets and Hornets in the two games he has missed so far.
In fact, the Celts have won six straight, tied for the second-longest winning streak in the NBA right now. This winning has come on the back on Jayson Tatum, who is averaging basically 30/9/6 over the past six games and has wedged himself back into the MVP race thanks to Boston’s lofty spot in the standings again.
Tatum has done an excellent job carrying the load all season when Brown is out, averaging 32.8/8.3/4.3 and leading the Celtics to a perfect 4-0 record in games without him.
In the long-term, this team is obviously far better with Brown — Tatum can’t be expected to carry the full load for the entirety of the season — but in the short-term, Tatum seems up to the task against a very pedestrian Hornets team.
Will we see LaMelo Ball and Victor Wembanyama together on the Hornets?
That certainly seems to be where the Hornets eyes are right now, as the team has lost 18 of its past 22 games, with 11 of those losses being by double digits. The Hornets have been particularly rough at home, sporting a 6-13-1 record against the spread at the Spectrum Center, the second-worst mark in the NBA, according to Bet Labs.
The lone bit of bright news is that LaMelo Ball has at least returned to the team and is putting up plenty of stats (24/5/9 in 20 games so far), but he’s doing it on lower efficiency than in seasons past, and it is not at all driving wins and he has sometimes been able to do in the past.
This looks like a team fully ready to try its lick in the lottery.
The opening line for this game was Boston -8.5, and it has moved a tiny bit towards Charlotte, now sitting at -8 with a bit of juice.
I’m a little surprised by the line moving that way, but the thought is likely that Boston will start to miss Brown more than they have shown, and that covering two on the road in three days with spreads as big as this might be tricky.
That being said, I snagged Boston at -7.5 and I’m going to look at Jayson Tatum over 32.5 points (-112 at FanDuel) as a lean as well. He’s been excellent in Brown’s absence, covering that number in three of four games (tiny sample of course, which is why it’s a lean not a full unit play).