Charlotte Hornets Season Preview, Win Total Prediction and Playoff Odds

LaMelo Ball and the Hornets are a fun, upstart team.
LaMelo Ball and the Hornets are a fun, upstart team. / Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Lavar Ball told us about how good LaMelo Ball would be years ago, and now that LaMelo is leading the fastbreaks in Charlotte, the Hornets are at the top of nearly every “League Pass Watch List” -- especially with Eric Collins calling games. 

The Hornets had a lot of good and entertaining moments last season, but Gordon Hayward’s injury derailed the end of their season -- as the Hornets went 8-16 without him. Hayward is going to be healthy which will give them a big scoring boost on the perimeter. Charlotte also signed Mason Plumlee, who had a solid season in Detroit, to man the middle. 

Charlotte lost in its first play-in game last season, but it is expected to make a leap this year with Plumlee and Kelly Oubre now in the mix. The Eastern Conference is starting to fill out with talented teams near the bottom and Charlotte is becoming one of the better teams in that range. 

With Ball, Rozier and Hayward, how far can the Hornets actually go?

Charlotte Hornets Win Total Prediction | 38.5 (Over -105/Under -116)

Charlotte has a good chance of surpassing this win total and possibly getting to 40 wins. The NBA season is back to its normal 82 games this year all the Hornets have to do is avoid a collapse down the stretch. Not only did the Hornets lose 16 of their final 24 games, but they ended the season on a five-game losing streak -- dropping them to the No. 10 seed in the East. 

The Hornets were 23rd in net rating (-2.0) last season, with a defensive rating of 112.8. The additions of Oubre and Plumlee don’t necessarily help them on the defensive side of the ball. In the regular season though, you can get to .500 by out-scoring teams and catching anybody on a certain night. 

I do think the Hornets will be better than last season, but the East is much deeper this year. In order for them to fully maximize their roster, they’re going to have to play faster. Charlotte had a pace of 99 last season, 18th in the league. If you aren’t going to defend anybody, games are going to need to be a track meet.

Charlotte has the pieces to do so, but putting them together for a big jump in year two of the Lamelo Ball-era is going to be the challenge.

Charlotte Hornets Playoff Odds

WynnBET Sportsbook is giving the Hornets +175 odds to make the playoffs and -220 odds to miss. The Hornets aren’t going to be one of the six best teams in the East, so they will have to try and win a play-in game. They won’t even be in the seventh seed, allowing them to only win one game. Charlotte is going to have to go on a run to get into the playoffs -- the opposite of what happened last year. 

Yet, I have faith in them. Losing Gordon Hayward was a big loss and he will help immensely down the stretch of the regular season in the 2020-21 campaign. Of the Hornets' final five losses, last season four of them were by single digits. The Hornets compete. With new pieces adding to their depth, they will shock a lot of people this year. 

WynnBET Promo: Bet $1, Win $100 if any NFL or college football team scores. Claim your offer now.