The Charlotte Hornets welcome the Los Angeles Clippers to town for a cross-conference game on Thursday. The Hornets are 33-36 overall and 18-17 at home this season. The Clippers are a blistering 46-23 this season with a 20-13 road record. Gordon Hayward (foot), Miles Bridges (protocols) and Cody Martin (ankle) are out for Charlotte. Serge Ibaka (back) is out for the Clippers.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET in Charlotte. The latest Clippers vs. Hornets odds from William Hill Sportsbook list Los Angeles as an eight-point road favorite. The over-under for total points expected is set at 220.5. Before finalizing any Hornets vs. Clippers 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 has returned over $9,100 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up over $1,100 on its top-rated picks this season and entered Week 21 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 99-64 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread dating back to last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Clippers vs. Hornets spread: Clippers -8
- Clippers vs. Hornets over-under: 220.5 points
- Clippers vs. Hornets money line: Clippers -330, Hornets +270
- LAC: The Clippers are 3-7 against the spread in the last 10 games
- CHA: The Hornets are 4-6 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Clippers can cover
The Clippers project to have the two best players on the floor in this matchup. Kawhi Leonard is one of the top players in the NBA, averaging 25.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game while providing top-flight efficiency and tremendous defensive impact. Paul George is similarly productive, accounting for 23.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game, and he is enjoying a red-hot shooting season to go along with his very strong two-way profile.
The duo leads the Clippers to the NBA's No. 3 overall offense, and the Hornets have some glaring defensive weaknesses. Charlotte is last in the NBA in 2-point shooting allowed (55.0 percent) and also No. 30 in assists allowed (27.1 per game). L.A. is an outstanding perimeter shooting team, and the Hornets are just 27th in the league in 3-pointers allowed, with opponents making 14.4 long-range connections per game this season.
Why the Hornets can cover
Charlotte is potent in a few key areas, especially when it comes to perimeter play offensively. The Hornets are No. 4 in the NBA in assists, averaging 26.9 per game, and they are above-average as a 3-point shooting team, converting 37.4 percent of attempts from long range. Charlotte can also play freely against a Clippers team that ranks near the bottom of the NBA in blocks (4.1 per game) and steals (7.0 per game), and the Hornets are a top-10 offensive rebounding team, securing 27.6 percent of their own misses.
Defensively, the Hornets thrive on havoc, forcing a turnover on almost 15 percent of defensive possessions. Charlotte is also quite effective at keeping their opponents off the free throw line, boasting a top-five mark in free throw rate allowed. The Clippers also struggle to get to the charity stripe, ranking third-worst in the NBA in attempting only 19.4 free throws per game.
How to make Hornets vs. Clippers 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 more than 50 percent of the time. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Hornets vs. Clippers? And which side of the spread hits more than 50 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.