The Denver Nuggets (41-20) and the Charlotte Hornets (21-40), who both like to play patient, will battle at Spectrum Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 5, 2020, and it can be seen on Altitude Sports & Entertainmnt.
Denver Nuggets vs. Charlotte Hornets Free Preview
The last time the Nuggets played, they were beaten by the Golden State Warriors, 116-100, despite being 16-point favorites. Nikola Jokic put together a solid game for Denver, finishing with 16 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists. Golden State was lights out from beyond the arc (18-41; 43.9 percent). Denver, meanwhile, had an offensive rebounding percentage of 38.8 (above their season average of 24.8). The two teams combined to put up 216 points, which finished just under the O/U total of 218.5.
Although the Hornets were defeated by the San Antonio Spurs in their last contest, 104-103, they did cover as 4-point underdogs. Terry Rozier led Charlotte in scoring with 20 points on 8-for-18 shooting. San Antonio had a much healthier turnover percentage (10.1 vs. 15.8). Charlotte, meanwhile, had an offensive rebounding percentage of 35.7 (above their season average of 23.8). The two teams collectively scored 207 points, which came in under the projected point total of 211.
Half-court execution will be at a premium when a pair of the NBA’s slowest-paced teams battle. Charlotte currently ranks 30th in possessions per game (98.5) and Denver is 28th (100.2). Additionally, the Nuggets are among the NBA’s best on the offensive backboards, ranking second in offensive rebounding percentage (25.0 percent). The Hornets, meanwhile, rank 29th at corralling defensive rebounds with a defensive rebounding percentage of 74.6 percent.
Of Denver’s 61 games, 32 have finished under the projected point total, while 33 of Charlotte’s 61 games have finished under the O/U total. The Nuggets hold the substantial advantage straight up (SU) (41-20 vs. 21-40), but the Hornets have the better against the spread (ATS) record (30-29-2 vs. 27-28-6).
These two clubs have already met once this season. The two teams combined to put up 186 points in that game, which was well under the projected point total of 210. The Nuggets won 100-86, covering as 12-point favorites. The Nuggets dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a free throw rate of 0.190 and a turnover percentage of 10.9. The Hornets put up marks of 0.099 and 13.8, respectively, for those same stats. Rozier scored a game-high 20 points.
Nuggets vs. Hornets ATS Prediction
Pick: SU Winner – Nuggets, ATS Winner – Nuggets, O/U – Over
The Nuggets rank 11th in steals per game (8.0) while the Hornets rank 27th (6.5).
Denver ranks 18th in blocks per game (4.7) while Charlotte ranks 25th (4.2).
Charlotte ranks 12th in three pointers attempted per game (34.2) while Denver ranks 26th (30.1).
Charlotte is 12-14-2 ATS at home, while Denver is 13-13-3 ATS on the road.
The Nuggets have 15 unders and 14 overs in 29 road games.
The Hornets have 16 unders and 12 overs in 28 home games.
Charlotte is 7-1 when they allow under 100 points, while Denver is 14-1.
When scoring over 100 points, the Nuggets are 38-15 and the Hornets are 16-22.
The Nuggets rank fourth in second chance points per game (14.3) while the Hornets rank 17th in second chance points allowed per game (13.2).
Denver averages 26.5 assists per game, which ranks fourth in the NBA. Charlotte ranks last in assists allowed per game (26.5).
The Nuggets rank fifth in points in the paint per game (50.0) while the Hornets rank 23rd in points allowed in the paint per game (50.7).
The Hornets rank fourth in fast break points allowed per game (11.9) while the Nuggets rank sixth (12.4).
Denver ranks fifth in rebounds allowed per game (42.8) while Charlotte ranks 22nd (46.2).
Charlotte is 4-1 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over in its last five games.
Over its past five games, Denver is 2-3 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
The Hornets’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 7.8, up from 7.4 for the season.
During their last five games, the Nuggets have scored an average of 115.8 points per game (5.1 above their season average) and allowed an average of 116.0 points per game (8.5 above their season average).