Hornets vs Pelicans: Expect a Low Scoring Affair in New Orleans

Action Network contributor Kenny Ducey previews how to bet Hornets vs Pelicans, including updated odds, picks and predictions for Wednesday's game.

Hornets vs. Pelicans Odds

Hornets Odds +12
Pelicans Odds -12
Moneyline +525 / -750
Over/Under 229.5
Time Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here’s everything you need to know about Hornets vs. Pelicans on Wednesday, Jan. 17 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.

The Charlotte Hornets have won just two games since the calendar turned to December of 2023, and they enter Wednesday on a five-game losing streak which has featured only one game that was even competitive.

Now, with a shorthanded bunch, Charlotte will attempt to go into New Orleans and compete against one of the most physical teams in basketball. Can it overcome its offensive woes here to keep things interesting?

Let’s get to our Hornets vs. Pelicans prediction and pick.

Hornets vs. Pelicans Prediction

Pick: Under 229.5

Hornets Betting Outlook

The Hornets were already up against it this season with a roster which is still relatively young, and now they’re attempting to compete without several of their top players. Gordon Hayward will miss a 10th straight game on Wednesday with a calf strain, Brandon Miller is danger of missing a second straight with a questionable tag, and while guard Frank Ntilikina is nearly done working his way towards a season debut he still can’t be counted on here to play.

If there’s any saving grace here, it’s that the Hornets have been able to split their eight wins between at home and on the road, though they’ve still only covered in 35% of these games and have seen their shooting numbers dip even further away from Charlotte.

For a team that’s been bad across the board on both sides of the ball, it’s pretty pointless to dig into any potential strengths this team has. Instead, we can look at what they aim to do on offense — which is to score the ball inside. While their numbers have been better on the perimeter, this team ranks ninth in shots frequency within four feet of the rim according to Cleaning the Glass and will hope to lean on the likes of Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington to have some success against the Pelicans frontcourt.

Ready to get in on the Charlotte Hornets betting action in North Carolina? You’ll soon be able to join in on North Carolina sports betting, as the state is expected to come online in 2024. 

Pelicans Betting Outlook

It hasn’t always been the case this season, but the Hornets do come into this one with a relatively clean bill of health. Zion Williamson isn’t on the injury report Wednesday, and center Cody Zeller is cleared to play after missing the team’s last three contests.

That’s good news for a Pelicans offense that’s been surprisingly potent this season. Their defense has been excellent, which comes as no surprise given the complexion of their core, but offensively this team is just a shade outside the league’s top 10. Like Charlotte, they’ve attempted to rely upon their frontcourt to do the heavy lifting on offense, but they’ve found far more success around the perimeter with excellent ranks in the mid-range and from 3.

The Hornets stand just 24th in defending the rim and dead last against the 3, which should have the Pelicans feeling confident here despite the fact that they’ve shot significantly worse from outside at home this season.

Hornets vs. Pelicans Picks, Odds

Both of these teams have played at a relatively slow pace this season, but over the course of the last 10 games things have become even more meticulous with both teams sitting inside the league’s bottom 7 in pace rating. On top of that, while New Orleans has had its struggles defending in the frontcourt it has been excellent around the perimeter, ranking third against the 3, and we have really only see the Hornets have any semblance of success offensively when they’ve been able to knock down jump shots.

With that, I like the under here. It’s cashed in 11 of New Orleans’ 20 games at home, and despite some better play on offense overall this season its home games have features plenty of missed jumpers and physical defensive battles.

Pick: Under 229.5