Betting odds: What the sportsbooks tell us about the Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets Terry Rozier and teammates. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Terry Rozier and teammates. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Sportsbooks have released their early betting odds on the NBA season. Here’s what they’re saying about this season’s Charlotte Hornets.

Betting on futures is a risky proposition now more than ever with COVID-19 causing players to miss games and entire seasons to grind to a halt. These lines tell us who the books see as the favorites for division, conference and even NBA champion as well as individual awards like MVP and Rookie of the Year. These predictions are far from a lock, of course, but they can give us an idea of what to expect and where to bet for the Charlotte Hornets.

NBA Title odds

According to Basketball Reference, last season the Los Angeles Clippers opened as the betting favorite to win it all at +425, meaning a $100 bet would net a $425 payout.  The Lakers were second at +450. Charlotte had the worst odds (+200000).

The preseason odds this year show some variance with the Hornets’ chances. Before the acquisition of Gordon Hayward, Charlotte was getting lumped in with Cleveland, Detroit and New York with the longest odds to win the title at around +40000 on Draftkings. Now they’ve jumped into the next tier with Chicago, Minnesota, Sacramento and Oklahoma City at +20000. Fanduel is giving a little better odds (and a lower payout) at +16000.

Charlotte Hornets
LeBron James (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

Fanduel and Draftkings agree on the Lakers as the favorites with Milwaukee next in line, though Fanduel is putting the Clippers even with the Bucks.

Draftkings gives Charlotte the worst odds to win the Southeast Division at +3300. Miami has the best odds at -360, followed by Atlanta, Washington and Orlando.

There’s no doubt Hayward will be a big boost in Charlotte if he remains healthy. He gives the young group a proven scorer and allows for positional flexibility. No matter what you think of his contract, and I’m there with you, this team got significantly better on paper since free agency.

MVP and Most Improved Player

Speaking of Hayward, he has the team’s best odds of winning Most Improved Player and Most Valuable Player, according to Fanduel. He’s not particularly high in either award. He’s +4900 for MIP, while the favorite — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander — is +1100.

Miles Bridges is next for Charlotte at +6500. He could be a sneaky pick for a breakout year. We already know of his ridiculous talent level. Entering his third season and nearing decision time for re-upping his contract, Bridges will be looking to showcase his value not only for Jordan and Kupchak but for the entire league.

As for the MVP race, Hayward sneaks in at the bottom of the list of bets being offered. He sits at +25000 on Fanduel with players like John Wall, Jrue Holiday and Kemba Walker. Luka Doncic is the favorite at +410, followed by Giannis Antetokounmpo at +480. If you believe Kevin Durant can regain form after his Achilles injury — one of the most difficult to recover from — you’d be interested in his value at +1300.

Charlotte Hornets
Gordon Hayward (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /

Hayward has next to no chance to win MVP, but the situation he’s in offers him the only glimmer of hope. He’s joining a team that won just 23 games last season. If the team improves drastically, some voters may correlate Hayward’s addition being the main reason. That would at least get him a passing mention.


So how many wins are expected of Charlotte? We’re finally getting to a bet that could pay off. One of the most telling bets on how the prognosticators view your team is the Over/Under they put on wins. Some like PointsBet use win totals while others like Draftkings use win percentage. The thought process is simple: do you think team ‘X’ will go over or under the line of wins?

Vegas’ Superbook puts Charlotte at 25.5 wins, finishing ahead of only Detroit, New York and Cleveland. It’s a pretty low bar and is likely to go up a bit once the Hayward addition is figured in. If you can still lock in an over bet at 25.5 you have a pretty good shot at cashing. The same book is giving the Bucks the highest O/U in the East at 50.5 wins. Atlanta rounds out the conference’s top eight with 36.5, leaving Orlando outside of the playoffs at 32.5. If it falls the way Superbook is placing things, only seven teams in the conference would secure winning records.

Draftkings is giving Charlotte just a little more love, putting the line at a 36.5 winning percentage. This amounts to about 26.5 wins. Regardless of how you break it down, I expect Charlotte to win more than 25 games. Just how much more is difficult to say at this point. Having no true homecourt advantage may cost a couple wins. How the team looks with its new additions will quickly reveal a lot more.

Rookie of the Year

Charlotte Hornets
LaMelo Ball (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images) /

One new addition we’re most anxiously waiting to watch is rookie LaMelo Ball. His Rookie of the Year campaign is the lone category where Charlotte is represented as the favorite. Draftkings place Ball at +400 to win the award, according to Anthony Edwards has the next best odds at +450, followed by Obi Toppin and James Wiseman at +600.

Again, the situation Ball is going into gives him a huge advantage. I don’t expect him to be the man immediately like last season’s ROTY Ja Morant was. But given the proficient catch-and-shoot abilities of Terry Rozier, Devonte’ Graham and Hayward, the court should lay out perfectly for Ball to be right in his element as a playmaker.

If he wants to make this thing a lock, Ball will have to clean up some of his poor shot selection, but James Borrego is already signaling shot selection will be an emphasis he plans to hammer home. The gap between the opportunities Ball will have and those of Edwards or Wiseman is a lot greater than these odds would say in my opinion. Despite joining a crowded backcourt, Ball will be let loose in some intriguing lineups.

Which way are you placing your bets on the season? Are you higher on the Hornets than Vegas is? Let us know in the comments.