The No. 9 seed Atlanta Hawks host the 10-seed Charlotte Hornets Wednesday for an elimination game in the Eastern Conference play-in tourney. Tip-off at State Farm Arena is set for 7 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Hornets vs. Hawks odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
The winner of this game will head to Cleveland to play the Cavaliers Friday in the play-in tourney finale for the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
These teams tied 2-2 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) in their regular-season series and the total was 1-3 Over/Under (O/U). Neither team won two straight head-to-head meetings.
Charlotte was 45-35-2 ATS this season and 16-14-1 ATS as a road underdog while Atlanta was 37-45 ATS and 19-15 ATS as a home favorite.
Hornets at Hawks odds, spread and lines
- Money line (ML): Hornets +180 (bet $100 to win $180) | Hawks -230 (bet $230 to win $100)
- Against the spread: Hornets +5.5 (-110) | Hawks -5.5 (-110)
- Over/Under: 234.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)
Hornets at Hawks key injuries
- SF Gordon Hayward (foot) out
- PF John Collins (finger) out
- SG Lou Williams (back) out
Hornets at Hawks odds, lines, picks and predictions
Hornets 120, Hawks 117
Slight LEAN to the HORNETS (+180), if at all, because the Hawks play much better at home and have more big-game experience.
The playoff/play-in atmosphere is completely different and it could be jarring for a young Charlotte team playing with its back against the wall for the first time.
However, from a basketball perspective, there isn’t a lot separating these two teams and this is a good price for the Hornets who have strength-on-weakness edges they can exploit.
Charlotte’s offense has the most transition points added per 100 possessions and Atlanta’s defense has the second-worst transition points added per 100 possessions according to CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG).
The Hornets also like to get into the paint and attack the rim, which are areas the Hawks struggled in during the regular season. Charlotte is third in paint points per game (PPG) whereas Atlanta is 19th in paint PPG allowed and 21st in defensive field goal percentage at the rim, per CTG.
These rosters are pretty equal in talent but I’ll take Hornets All-Star PG LaMelo Ball over Hawks All-Star PG Trae Young. Ball is 3-2 SU and is averaging more points, rebounds, assists with fewer turnovers and shooting better from the field and 3 across their five career head-to-head meetings.
It’s only a LEAN to the HORNETS (+180) because Charlotte’s spread is a sharper play and the Hawks play much better in Atlanta.