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Cavaliers vs. Hornets Prediction: Cavs Still Holding Onto Third Place in the East

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published March 27, 2024
10 min read

The Cleveland Cavaliers (44-28) are only a half-game ahead of the New York Knicks for third in the Eastern Conference, but they’ll have a chance to extend that lead when they face the Charlotte Hornets (17-54) on Wednesday evening.

The Cavs are one of several teams in the second group of contenders in the East that are chasing the Boston Celtics. After an unbelievable stretch just before the All-Star break, however, they lost six of their last nine games and haven’t won back-to-back matchups since in exactly one month.

The Hornets aren’t going to compete for any postseason honors this season and, in all likelihood, the coming season, but they have shown more flashes since the trade deadline than they did the entire year before that. Even still, they enter the matchup riding a five-game losing streak and already fell to the Cavs 115-92 on Monday.

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite pick for the Cavaliers vs. Hornets matchup. 

Cavaliers vs Hornets Prediction

Cavaliers vs. Hornets Betting Odds for Wednesday, March 27

The Cavaliers are 35-35-2 (50 percent) against the spread and 8-9-1 (47.1 percent) ATS as a road favorite. They covered in two of their last six games but had no problems handling an 11-point line in their 23-point win to start the week.

The Hornets are 27-44 (38 percent) ATS, the second-worst mark in the league, and 14-15 (48.3 percent) ATS as a home underdog. They didn’t cover in any of their last five outings and are just 4-10 ATS over the past month.

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Cleveland Cavaliers -10.5 (-110) -550 Over 206.5 (-105)
Charlotte Hornets +10.5 (-110) +400 Under 206.5 (-115)

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Cavaliers vs. Hornets Prediction

Cleveland Cavaliers Preview

At their best, the Cavaliers are a top-two defensive team with size, speed, and depth. They don’t have knockdown shooters but have guys who are capable of making shots thanks to the gravity of Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, and their bigs.

While that version of the Cavs was on full display when they won 18 of 20 games earlier in the year, it’s not the team that’s taken the court recently. The team ranks 14th in defensive efficiency and 25th in offensive efficiency over its last 15 games, resulting in an average point differential per 100 possessions of -3.7, 22nd in the league during that time.

The team’s struggles can be attributed to a few areas. First, their already-slow tempo turned glacial, and they rank 28th in average pace, again, over the last 15 games. They were also terrible on the boards, ranking 26th in rebound rate, and were just outside the bottom 10 in turnover percentage.

The absence of Mitchell (nasal fracture) has stalled the team on both sides but had the largest impact on the offense. The 115 points they scored on Monday was their most in five games, and they failed to score more than 91 in the two games just before.

Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen are both having solid months, though neither averaged more than 20 points per game. It will be difficult for this team to consistently find wins without Mitchell in the lineup if they simply can’t generate enough offense. 

Charlotte Hornets Preview

The Hornets were playing some of the best defense in basketball just after the trade deadline—but skip ahead to the last few weeks, and they’re just 23rd in points allowed per 100 possessions.

To make matters worse, their offense posted an average of 103 points per 100 possessions during that same time, by far the worst in basketball. Rookie standout Brandon Miller averaged 17.7 points (and scored 24 on Monday) but is having his development stalled by teammates failing to get him in favorable positions and putting up ill-advised shots.

Charlotte simply does not do much well. They rank 21st in turnover percentage and have the second-worst rebound rate over their last 15 games, which is a major reason why they’re only 3-12 during that time.

As awful as this team has been all year, it’s 5.3 points per 100 possessions better at home than it is on the road. It also plays at a very slow pace which, from a betting perspective, could set it up to find success since underdogs in low-total games are often profitable.

Miller and Miles Bridges will both need to have strong games. Bridges scored 20.7 points per game in March but also shot just 28.4 percent from three and went 5-14 on field goals against Cleveland two days ago.

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Cavaliers vs. Hornets Betting Pick

There’s no doubt that the Cavs are the better of the two teams when they’re firing on all cylinders, but they haven’t been anywhere close to that level recently.

While Cleveland is beat up, the Hornets are healthy. If they can find a way to devote enough resources to sealing off Allen on the interior and force the rest of the Cavs to beat them, they will put themselves in a decent position.

Because of the size of the line compared to the low total and because of how bad the Cavs’ offense has been recently, we like the underdogs to cover on their home floor.

How to Watch Cavaliers vs. Hornets on 3/27/24

  • When: Wednesday, March 27, 7:00 p.m. ET

  • Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC

  • TV: NBA League Pass

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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

490 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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