The Charlotte Hornets (30-32) meet the Milwaukee Bucks (36-25) Monday at Fiserv Forum for an 8 p.m. ET tip-off. Below, we look at the Hornets vs. Bucks odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
Charlotte took a stunning loss at home Sunday, falling 127-126 in overtime to the Detroit Pistons thanks to buzzer-beater by Pistons PF Kelly Olynyk. The Hornets are 1-1 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) since the All-Star break.
Milwaukee lost 126-123 at home to the Brooklyn Nets Saturday in its first game back from the All-Star break. Entering Monday, the Bucks are the 5-seed in the East, 4 games behind the first-place Miami Heat and 3 games ahead of the 7-seed Toronto Raptors.
The Hornets are 2-1 SU and 3-0 ATS versus the Bucks this season with a 1-2 Over/Under (O/U) in those contests. Charlotte has covered seven of its past eight meetings with Milwaukee.
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Hornets at Bucks odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 1:52 p.m. ET.
Money line (ML): Hornets +420 (bet $100 to win $420) | Bucks -600 (bet $600 to win $100)
Against the spread: Hornets +10.5 (-108) | Bucks -10.5 (-112)
Over/Under: 237.5 (O: -115 | U: -107)
Hornets at Bucks key injuries
SF Gordon Hayward (ankle) out
SF Cody Martin (back) questionable
SG Pat Connaughton (finger) out
PG George Hill (neck) out
C Brook Lopez (back) out
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Hornets at Bucks odds, lines, picks and predictions
Bucks 119, Hornets 113
PASS with a heavy “lean” toward the Hornets (+420) because I generally like to “sprinkle” on an underdog’s ML when betting it to cover and Charlotte has won its last two meetings against Milwaukee.
Even though the Hornets obviously match up well with the Bucks, Milwaukee will at least eke this one out at home against a team that shouldn’t surprise it. Plus, the Bucks are just 1-4 SU in their last five games and need to start piling wins if they want to host a first-round playoff series.
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Against the spread
BET HORNETS +10.5 (-108) because this is a Pros vs. Joe’s game with the presumed sharp side of the market backing Charlotte.
According to Pregame.com, a slight majority of the cash is on the Hornets, but nearly two-thirds of the bets placed are on the Bucks. Typically in sports betting, it’s wise to follow the money especially when it’s counter to the public.
Also, Charlotte is 4-0-1 ATS in its past five games as a road underdog and Milwaukee is on a 5-game ATS losing streak.
Lastly, Charlotte’s brutal loss Sunday to the Pistons should mean fewer people are betting on the Hornets, but Charlotte is 17-12-2 ATS after a loss.
BACK UNDER 237.5 (-107) for a half-unit only because a vast majority of the market is on the Under and I hate following the herd in sports betting.
However, Charlotte’s offense has plummeted this month (ranked 24th in offensive rating), but its defense has soared (ranked fifth in defensive rating).
On top of that, all three of the referees assigned to this contest have officiated more Unders. The officiating crew has a combined 43-68 O/U this season (38.7% to the Under).
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