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Charlotte Hornets at Atlanta Hawks Betting Preview

The No. 10 Charlotte Hornets (43-39) will square off with the No. 9 Atlanta Hawks (43-39) on Thursday in a win-or-go-home matchup.

The winner will earn a matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the play-in tournament while the loser’s season is done. The Hawks will host this one at the State Farm Arena, with tipoff scheduled for 7:00 pm ET.

The Hornets have been red hot coming into this one, having won 11 of their last 15, including three in a row. They are 13-7 in their last 20 games against the Hawks.

The Hawks are also playing good ball, having won seven of their last nine and 11 of their last 12 at State Farm Arena. They are also 8-3 in their last 11 against the spread.

These two split their four-game series this year, with each team winning one at home and on the road. The Hawks got the nod as the higher seed due to an advantage in point differential.

The Atlanta Hawks are the favorites coming into this one. They are -210 to win while the Hornets’ moneyline sits at +176. The spread features Atlanta +5 (-110), and the over/under for total points is 236.5.

By The Numbers

These were two of the top six teams in scoring this season. The Hornets rank fourth, averaging 115.3 points per game (117.2 on the road). The Hawks rank sixth, averaging 113.9 points (116.7 at home).

Defensively, both of these teams rank in the bottom third. The Hawks rank 21st in scoring defense allowing opponents an average of 112.4 points per game. The Hornets rank 25th, allowing 114.9 points.

Hornets Embrace Youth Movement

While the Hornets are far from the favorites to win the NBA Finals this season, they are a young team on the upswing and could make some noise if opponents aren’t careful.

The team is led by young starters Miles Bridges (24-years-old) and Lamelo Ball (20-years-old). For Bridges, the small forward is averaging 20.2 points, seven rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game.

One of the biggest factors that helped the Hornets succeed this year was the health of Ball. He played in just 51 games last season but was able to manage 75 games this season. In that time, he averaged 20.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 7.6 assists, and 1.6 steals per game.

Other major contributors for the Hornets include Terry Rozier (19.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists), Kelly Oubre Jr (15 points, four rebounds), and P.J. Washington (10.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists).

Acquired at the trade deadline, Montrezl Harrell will also try to be an asset in the middle as he averaged 11.4 points and 4.9 rebounds in 25 games with the Hornets.

Atlanta Look To Build Off Of Last Years’ Experience

Last season, the Atlanta Hawks made a surprising run to the Eastern Conference finals as they took down both the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers. The Hawks will look to build off of that playoff experience to win this game and earn another game in the play-in tournament.

The Hawks are led by All-Star point guard Trae Young. In 76 games, Young averaged 28.4 points on 46 percent shooting, including 38.2 percent from behind the arc. Young also averaged 3.7 rebounds and a team-high 9.7 assists.

One area that the Hawks may have a significant advantage is on the boards. Even though John Collins is out, center Clint Capela has been a double-double machine averaging 11.1 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. His ability to control the boards may be one of the differences in this one.

The other leading scorers for Atlanta include Bogdan Bogdanovic (15.1 points, four rebounds, 3.1 assists), De’Andre Hunter (13.4 points, 3.3 rebounds), Kevin Huerter (12.1 points, 3.4 rebounds), and Danilo Gallinari (11.7 points, 4.7 rebounds).

Take Atlanta To Win, But Can They Cover?

There are a lot of things to like about Atlanta in this one. Not only do they have the playoff experience, but they are really tough at home. While they were 16-25 on the road, they were 27-14 at home.

Still, both of these teams are elite offensive teams that are capable of putting up points in bunches. For that reason, the Hawks might be the better bet to win straight up, but it is tough to spot the Hornets five points.

For that reason, take the Hornets +5 (-110).

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