Orlando Magic vs. Charlotte Hornets: Predictions, Starting Lineups (3/5/24)

The Orlando Magic (35-26) face the Charlotte Hornets (15-46) this Tuesday (3/5/24). Get Magic vs. Hornets moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.

Orlando Magic vs. Charlotte Hornets Prediction

Since Mark Williams’ early December injury, Charlotte has given up the second largest field goal percentage inside the paint (via NBA.com). To make matters worse, Nick Richards is questionable tonight with a foot injury after missing their last game. His rim protection is below average, but it’s a superior option than starting forward Grant Williams at center, which Charlotte was forced to do against Toronto.

Orlando takes the second most restricted area field goal attempts per game, and their offense is built on jumbo slashers. As a result, they should absolutely feast against Charlotte’s non-existent interior defense. Because Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner both have excellent scoring and playmaking chops, the offense will consistently generate ideal shot quality too if the Hornets send doubles.

The Magic rank fourth in Defensive Rating and feature sticky on-ball defenders. Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner in particular can smother Charlotte’s scorers, thus reducing their already shaky creation. With an elite defense and their offense expected to hum, this game should be a cruise for Orlando.

Finally, injuries have ravaged Charlotte’s bench, while Orlando has an incredibly deep second unit. This season, their benches rank 28th and 7th, respectively, in net rating. Look for the Magic to extend their lead when the starters sit.

Orlando Magic vs. Charlotte Hornets Prediction: Magic -8.5 & Moneyline

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Orlando Magic vs. Charlotte Hornets Best Odds

The surging Magic are nearly nine point favorites against an injured, rebuilding Charlotte squad. It’s worth noting that Orlando owns an 18-5 record against the spread as favorites, so they take care of business versus weaker competition.

For the Hornets’ +300 moneyline to be profitable in the long run, they must win at least 25.1 percent of the time.

Orlando Magic Starting Lineup

PG: Jalen Suggs
SG: Gary Harris
SF: Franz Wagner
PF: Paolo Banchero
C: Wendell Carter Jr.

Charlotte Hornets Starting Lineup

PG: Vasilije Micic
SG: Tre Mann
SF: Brandon Miller
PF: Miles Bridges
C: Nick Richards

Orlando Magic vs. Charlotte Hornets Injuries

Backup guard Markelle Fultz (8.6 PPG) is questionable. If he cannot suit up, then rookie Anthony Black will see a larger role. On the other side, LaMelo Ball, Mark Williams, Cody Martin, and Seth Curry are out, while Nick Richards holds a questionable tag. Grant Williams will get the start should Richards miss the contest.

Orlando Magic vs. Charlotte Hornets Key Matchups

Hornets 3PT Shooting

Brandon Miller and Miles Bridges combine to shoot a 37 3PT% on about 13 attempts per game. Charlotte’s offense will need strong outside efficiency to break through against this stingy defense; however, Orlando surrenders the fourth fewest wide open three-point attempts per game. Therefore, constant tough shot making is unfortunately a necessity for the Hornets tonight.

Magic Free Throws

Orlando leads the NBA in free throw attempt rate because they relentlessly attack the basket via scorers with positional size. Trips to the line have a large expected points per possession, so it’s essential that Charlotte defends without fouling here. Otherwise, Orlando’s offense receives a strong boost of efficiency.

North Carolina Sports Betting Update

We are fewer than one week away from the March 11th launch date for North Carolina sports betting!

Even better, March Madness begins just a few days after online sports betting is launched in the Tar Heel state, and it will more than likely feature four North Carolina teams, including UNC, Duke, Wake Forest, and N.C. State.

It is never too early to check out our sportsbook reviews for the eight applicants, including BetMGM, ESPN Bet, DraftKings, Underdog, Fanatics, Caesars, ESPN Bet, Bet365, and FanDuel, to find out which ones you want to use! Here are a few: Bet365 North Carolina, FanDuel North Carolina, and DraftKings North Carolina.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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