Celtics vs. Hornets Prediction: Will Boston Cover a Gargantuan Spread?

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published April 1, 2024
5 min read

The Boston Celtics (58-16) are taking the league’s best record on the road for a matchup with the Charlotte Hornets (18-56), who won just one of their last eight games, on Monday evening.

The C’s got back into the win column with an impressive road showing against the New Orleans Pelicans after consecutive losses to the Atlanta Hawks, both in extraordinary fashion. They played the Hornets once earlier in the year and surprisingly lost on a last-second shot in overtime.

The Hornets’ impressive post-trade deadline defense has all but disappeared, while the offense is still stuck in second gear (maybe even first). They’re better at home than they are on the road but still have nothing to play for and had their last 10 losses come by double digits.

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

Celtics vs. Hawks Prediction  Jayson Tatum

Celtics vs. Hornets Betting Odds for Monday, April 1

The Hornets are favored in this game—oh, April Fool’s!

The Celtics are favored by a whopping 17.5 points. They are 39-23-3 (54.9 percent) against the spread and 18-16-3 (52.9 percent) ATS as a road favorite. 

Boston is also 13-10-1 (56.5 percent) ATS with a rest advantage and covered in nine of its last 12 games.

Charlotte is 29-45 (39.2) percent ATS, the second-worst mark in the league, and 16-16 (50 percent) ATS as a home underdog. It’s also 7-6 (53.9 percent) ATS with a rest disadvantage but covered in just two of its last eight games.

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Boston Celtics -17.5 (-105) -2000 Over 219.5 (-110)
Charlotte Hornets +17.5 (-115) +950 Under 219.5 (-110)

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Celtics vs. Hornets Prediction

Boston Celtics Preview

The Celtics finished running laps around their competition and recently began experimenting with new defensive coverages in preparation for the playoffs. They tried switching Kristaps Porzingis one-five and experimented with Xavier Tillman filling in different spots on the floor in a savvy move by coach Joe Mazzulla.

Boston dominates all of the advanced numbers. Since the All-Star break, they lead the league in average point differential per 100 possessions (+15.9) and are first in offensive efficiency and 10th in defensive efficiency.

They also shot 41.7 percent on the highest volume from beyond the arc while holding opponents to 34.9 percent shooting from deep, the eighth-best mark during that time.

The C’s are 7.7 points per 100 possessions worse on the road than they are at home, though they’re still 26-13 straight-up. They also rank in the top three in turnover percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio since the All-Star break, which shows they take care of the ball and generate efficient shots.

Boston has only been average at rebounding for the past couple of months, but that’s not the primary concern. If there’s one negative about this team, it’s that it slows down and favors “bad” shots in big, late-game moments. 

Luckily, they won’t even need to consider this if they are going to cover the enormous spread. A close score late in the fourth quarter will effectively mean the Hornets are guaranteed to cover.

Charlotte Hornets Preview

The Hornets aren’t as grisly of a franchise as they were a couple of years ago, but they’re still struggling.

Bright spots such as LaMelo Ball (injured) and Brandon Miller have been offset by inconsistent focus, sometimes unserious mannerisms, and an overall talent deficiency. 

While the Hornets were a top-five defensive team for a couple of weeks after the trade deadline, no team allowed more points per 100 possessions over the last 10 games than they did. To make matters worse, they ranked just 25th in offensive efficiency during that time, resulting in a net rating of -14.8. 

To put that in context, the Celtics were 29.4 points per 100 possessions better than the Hornets over their last 10 games. Teams usually average around 100 possessions per game, which means Boston would’ve won by about 30 points on average.

Another issue for Charlotte is that they don’t rebound the basketball. Their 46.6 percent rebound rate over the last 10 games was the second-worst in the league, and they also ranked in the bottom 10 in assist-to-turnover ratio.

One area the Hornets have excelled in is defending the three-point line, as they held opponents to 34.5 percent shooting from deep over the past couple of weeks. That said, their 32.5 percent three-point standard since the All-Star Game is the second-worst in the league.

Celtics vs. Hornets Betting Pick

Boston is better than Charlotte.

The question here is whether or not the C’s will get up for a game that requires them to cover an enormous spread, especially after they lost outright as 17.5-point favorites against the Hawks just a few days ago. 

Ultimately, we’ll side with the Celtics here. Even though they are on the road, they have an extra day of rest, and the Hornets just can’t keep games close seemingly regardless of circumstance.

How to Watch Celtics vs. Hornets on 4/1/24

When: Monday, April 1 @ 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC

TV: NBA League Pass

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Grant Mitchell

Sports Betting Analyst & On-Air Host

Expertise:
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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.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor in Sports Media and Analytics
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Experience:
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