One of seven NBA games scheduled for Sunday, December 18, is this inter-conference duel in Denver, so make sure you check out the best Hornets vs. Nuggets betting pick and odds.
Charlotte is desperate to avoid the eighth defeat in a row when they visit Denver at Ball Arena. The Nuggets are 9-point favorites on BetOnline Sportsbook, while the total is set at 238.5 points. These inter-conference rivals have faced on two occasions last year; once in Charlotte and once in Denver, and each time the visiting team was better.
Hornets can’t catch a break
The Charlotte Hornets (7-22, 12-15-2 ATS) lost both of their two-game home stay against the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks and now are on a seven-game losing streak. The Hornets have the worst record in the entire NBA and are massive underachievers, but injuries to key players such as LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward affected their record. Charlotte scored just 14 fourth-quarter points in a 125-106 loss to the Hawks and shot below 40.0% from the floor. They will open a six-game road trip with this game against Denver.
LaMelo Ball led the Hornets with 27 points. Kelly Oubre Jr. added 16 points and seven rebounds, Nick Richards posted a double-double of 13 points and game-high 11 boards along with two blocks, while Terry Rozier had ten points and a game-high nine assists.
SF Cody Martin (knee) is out indefinitely. PG Dennis Smith Jr. (ankle), PF PJ Washington (personal), and C Mark Williams (ankle) are questionable to face the Nuggets on Sunday.
Nuggets couldn’t make it four straight
The Denver Nuggets (17-11, 12-16-0 ATS) were on a three-game winning streak but couldn’t make it four in a row as they lost 126-108 against the Los Angeles Lakers on the road. The Nuggets weren’t bad from the field as they shot 48.1%, but they did commit even 19 turnovers opposite Los Angeles’ 14. Despite this loss, the Nuggets are still atop of the Northwest Division and have the third-best record in the Western Conference.
Nikola Jokic led Denver with a double-double of 25 points and game-high 11 rebounds, along with team-high eight assists and game-high four steals. Jamal Murray followed him with 23 points, six dishes, and five boards, Aaron Gordon scored 17 with a couple of thefts, while Bruce Brown contributed 11 points, five rebounds, five dimes, and two blocks.
SF Michael Porter Jr. (heel) and PG Collin Gillespie (leg) are out indefinitely and will not play on Sunday against Charlotte.
- 0-4 ATS in the last four games overall
- 5-11-1 ATS in the last 17 games playing on one day of rest
- 5-1 ATS in the last six games following a straight-up loss of more than ten points
- 4-1 ATS in the last five games after allowing more than 125 points in their previous game
Charlotte Hornets vs. Denver Nuggets Pick
Charlotte has Ball and Hayward back from injuries, and although I expect the Hornets to start playing better in the next few games and improve their league-worst offensive rating of 108.3 points per 100 possessions, I am backing the Nuggets here.
Denver usually bounces back from heavy defeats like that one in L.A. and I am sure the Nuggets will do the same on Sunday with a comfortable win over the Hornets. Charlotte has the third-worst defense in the NBA that allows 117.3 ppg, while Denver has a top 10 offense that averages 115.7 ppg.
Pick: Take the Nuggets at -8.5 (-110)
Charlotte surrendered 121+ points in each of its last five games, and after scoring only 108 in a loss to the Lakers, I am backing the Nuggets to score 120+ on Sunday. Still, we will need the Hornets to contribute offensively if we want to have a high-scoring affair, which is likely not going to happen.
I mentioned the Hornets’ weak offensive rating, and although that should improve with Ball and Hayward in the lineup, don’t expect miracles from Charlotte. Around 110 points is my expectation from the visitors. Under is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings in Denver, while Under is 5-0 in the Nuggets’ previous five games after allowing more than 125 points in their last game.
Pick: Go Under 238.5 points (-110)