The shorthanded Charlotte Hornets will look to even the season series when they take on the NBA Eastern Conference-rival Boston Celtics on Sunday. The Hornets (29-30), who have dropped two of their last three, will be without three of their top five scorers, all out until early May with various injuries. Out are point LaMelo Ball (wrist), Gordon Hayward (foot) and Malik Monk (ankle). The Celtics (32-28), who have gone 7-3 in their last 10 games, have won 13 of the last 15 meetings with Charlotte.
Tip-off from Spectrum Center in Charlotte is set for 1 p.m. ET. Boston leads the all-time series 67-43, including a 31-24 edge in games played at Charlotte. The Celtics are 9.5-point favorites in the latest Celtics vs. Hornets odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 214.5. Before making any Hornets vs. Celtics picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it has returned over $9,200 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up over $1,200 on its top-rated picks this season, and dating back to last year, it entered Week 18 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 96-60 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Celtics vs. Hornets spread: Celtics -9.5
- Celtics vs. Hornets over-under: 214.5
- Celtics vs. Hornets money line: Celtics -440, Hornets +360
- BOS: The Celtics are 8-2 in its last 10 games played at the Spectrum Center
- CHA: The Hornets are 31-27-1 against the spread this season
Why the Celtics can cover
With about a month remaining before the start of the playoffs, sixth-seeded Boston is looking to move up the Eastern Conference standings. Forward Jayson Tatum has been a big reason for the Celtics' success. In 54 games, Tatum is averaging 25.8 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. He is coming off a 38-point, 10-rebound performance at Brooklyn on Friday and has produced a double-double in each of his last four games and seven in his past nine. He had a monster game against Minnesota on April 9, scoring 53 points while grabbing 10 rebounds.
Also powering Boston is forward Jaylen Brown, who is averaging 24.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He has been out since Monday with a shoulder injury but is expected to return against the Hornets. He has been red-hot of late, scoring 40 points and grabbing nine rebounds last week against the Lakers. He has eight double-doubles on the season, including two this month.
Why the Hornets can cover
Charlotte has been solid at home, going 15-12 on its home floor this season. Guard Terry Rozier continues to power the Hornets, averaging 20.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and four assists per game. He scored 25 points and dished out six assists in Friday's win over the Cavaliers, and has posted two double-doubles over the past five games. He poured in 34 points and dished out 10 assists against Portland on April 18.
Another big part of the Charlotte offense is point guard Devonte' Graham, who is averaging 14 points, 5.3 assists, 2.7 rebounds and one steal per game. Graham has reached double figures in 13 of the past 15 games, including a 30-point effort against Phoenix on March 28. He ranks seventh in the league this season in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.59. Graham reached 300 career 3-pointers in 127 games, fifth-fastest in NBA history, and his 397 threes are sixth all-time in franchise history.
How to make Hornets vs. Celtics picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 212 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits over 60 percent of the time. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Celtics vs. Hornets? And which side of the spread hits over 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is on a roll on NBA picks.