Two nights after suffering a surprising defeat in Miami, the Golden State Warriors (38-7) visit the Charlotte Hornets (23-22) at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. As one would expect Steve Kerr’s team is favored, with most sports books having Golden State (which opened as a 7.5-point favorite) giving ten points according to OddsShark.
There are a couple sports books, including Bovada and the Mirage, that have the Warriors giving 10.5 points. The point total, which opened at 223.5, hasn’t moved much with most sports books listing a total of 223. Bovada’s total has moved up to 224, with Caesar’s Palace listing a total of 222.5. OddsShark projects a final score of 115-102 in favor of the visiting Warriors.
Golden State is actually below .500 this season against the spread, with a record of 21-23-1. But it should be noted that the Warriors have won five of their last six ATS, with the lone defeat being Monday’s 105-102 loss to the Heat. Prior to their five-game win streak ATS, Golden State went on a run in which it lost six straight games ATS. Point total-wise the Warriors are 1-7 with the OVER in their last eight games, which includes a current run of five straight defeats.
Charlotte hasn’t been particularly good ATS this season, as the Hornets are also 21-23-1. The Hornets, 5-5 in the last ten games ATS, won the first two games of their five-game home stand ATS before dropping the next two heading into Wednesday’s game. Charlotte is also 1-7 with the OVER in its last eight games, with the most recent victory coming on January 10 against the Rockets.
For all the chatter about Golden State’s offensive weapons, led by guard Stephen Curry and forward Kevin Durant, this is also a very good defensive team. The Warriors, ranked first in the NBA in offensive rating, also lead the league in defensive rating. Golden State allows nearly 105 points per game, but that’s due to the pace at which they play rather than any issues on the defensive end of the floor. Led by point guard Kemba Walker, the Hornets are a middle of the pack offensive team but rank sixth in the NBA in defensive rating.
PREDICTION: Charlotte +10 with the UNDER (Golden State straight up, 110-102). Charlotte, with wings Nicolas Batum and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, is good enough defensively to keep Golden State from getting out in the open floor too often. But the Warriors are good enough to adjust and find quality looks in the half court if need be.