After battling it out last Tuesday, the Hornets look to get revenge as they travel to Toronto in this mini two game series. The Raptors offense exploded onto the scene behind a terrific shooting performance from the perimeter, converting a season high 20 threes from deep. Winning 132-120, the Raptors will look to build on their win and get themselves firmly back into the playoff race in this late stretch. Can lightning strike twice for Toronto?
Charlotte Hornets vs Toronto Raptors Betting Odds
Oddsmakers certainly think so as they opened the Raptors as a -7.5 favorite. Bettors are in agreements, backing Toronto up to as high as a -8.5 favorite in some shops as of writing. This team has severely underwhelmed with the amount of talent they retained, a unit that was known for a methodical offense and a suffocating defense. They have yet to get into a consistent groove, crashing down the Eastern standings hard into the year.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored in a flash as oddsmakers opened the total at 230.5. While initially staying firm on the opening number throughout the night, bettors have started to come in on the over by taking it up to 231.5 in some shops. This may include some recency bias after both teams combined for 150 plus points in their previous outing, but both identities play towards a high scoring game script and we may be in for another high scoring affair.
Charlotte Hornets vs Toronto Raptors Prediction
The Pick: Over 230.5
With that said, I will be taking the over at 230.5 in what may be another high scoring affair. Both units have majorly turned around their offensive production over the past week with expectations for that trend to continue upwards. The Raptors went from near dead last in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency to fourth over the past week while Charlotte has followed suit from second to last to fifth.
The turnaround has been especially apparent for the Raptors as their perimeter shooting has become more efficient. While I doubt we will see the same performance from their last meeting against Charlotte with 20 made threes, they will once again have ample looks from deep as the Hornets have struggled to defend the perimeter.
This bodes especially well for Fred VanVleet as he has struggled early into the season and will need to get back into a groove for the Raptors offense to start consistently clicking. Once hailed as a lethal three-point shooting threat, has now seen his numbers regress across the board. Last season he shot over 40% from the field and is now shooting a lowly 32.8%. His perimeter shooting has also dipped five percent below his last season average.
- Over is 12-5-1 in their last 17 meetings against each other
- Over is 4-0 in their last four meetings in Toronto
Can the Hornets match the newfound Raptors perimeter production behind LaMelo’s facilitation?
LaMelo Ball passing vs Raptors perimeter defense
With the return of LaMelo Ball from his early season injury, we have seen the Hornets offense slowly evolve into a more efficient unit behind his play making and facilitation. This is especially crucial for a late run after how anemic we saw their offense run early into the season.
Not only his facilitation, but his scoring as well as LaMelo is currently averaging a team high 23.1 points per game. He is also one of the few lethal perimeter shooters in the starting lineup, nearly averaging 40%.
His play making will be called upon once again as he will need to crack the Raptors defense. Secondary scoring will need to keep them within pace in order for this over to hit, making it vital Terry Rozier and PJ Washington connect on their opportunities when they are presented.
Expect another high scoring affair as both offenses have been running hot over the past week. Take this at no higher than 232 for a smaller investment.
Charlotte Hornets Starting Lineup
Toronto Raptors Starting Lineups
Charlotte Hornets Injuries: Gordon Hayward (D), Kelly Oubre Jr (O)
Toronto Raptors Injuries: Otto Porter Jr (O)