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Charlotte Hornets vs. Washington Wizards Preview: Odds, Lines, Predictions

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 03: Kelly Oubre Jr. #12 of the Charlotte Hornets dribbles against the Washington Wizards during the first half at Capital One Arena on January 03, 2022 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 03: Kelly Oubre Jr. #12 of the Charlotte Hornets dribbles against the Washington Wizards during the first half at Capital One Arena on January 03, 2022 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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The Charlotte Hornets welcome the Washington Wizards to town for the season finale for both teams. The Hornets have won two in a row and picked up an important road victory over the Chicago Bulls in their last game. Meanwhile, the Wizards have lost three of their last four games, all of which were by at least 15 points. Washington will be without its top four scorers as Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle Kuzma, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will all be out of action. For the Hornets, Gordon Hayward remains out with foot soreness.

Keys to the Game

Focus

The Hornets are currently 10th in the Eastern Conference but sit just one game back of the 7th seed. Depending on the results of other games, Charlotte could climb as high as 7th. While Hornets fans will be monitoring other games to see the impact on Charlotte’s postseason seeding, the Hornets need to remain focused on the task at hand. While Charlotte is guaranteed to be in the play-in tournament, any chance at moving up in the standings requires them to get a win over the Wizards. With the Hornets, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Atlanta Hawks all tipping off at 3:30 Eastern Time, keeping focus on the game to be played will be a focal point for Charlotte.

Fast Break 

For all of their struggles this season, the Wizards have been terrific against the fast break, as they allow the least fast break points of any team in the league. Meanwhile, the Hornets allow the seventh-most fast break points per game. Offensively, the Wizards score the second-least fast break points per game while the Hornets score the second-most. In a matchup featuring each team’s strengths and weaknesses juxtaposed, whichever team can better utilize their strength and mitigate their weakness will have the clearer path to victory.

Odds and Moneyline provided by FanDuel

Point Spread: Hornets -13

Money line: Hornets -820 / Wizards +570

Over-Under: 233

Final Prediction

The Hornets will have everything to play for in this game while the Wizards have nothing to play for. The Hornets will take care of business in a game they need to win, covering the spread comfortably. The under will hit as the Wizards will struggle to put up points with their top four scorers all missing the game. Give me the Hornets to win this one by a final score of 116-95.