Thunder to pick up sixth straight home victory over lowly Hornets

  • Go to BetOnline or Bovada for the latest odds on the Thunder vs Hornets matchup
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is in contention for the NBA Most Improved Player award after averaging over 31 points in his fifth season
  • The game tips off from Paycom Center at 8:00pm ET on Tuesday, March 28th

Oklahoma City (37-38) is tied for ninth in the Western Conference heading into Tuesday night’s game with the lowly Hornets. The Thunder have won five-straight home games and are coming off a 118-112 victory over the Trail Blazers on Sunday. Charlotte (25-51) will look to play spoiler again after defeating the Mavericks twice in three days and dealing a devastating blow to Dallas’ playoff chances.

Before we break down the matchup and make our picks, check out our guide to betting on the 2023 NBA Finals and our tips for betting on the NBA.

Thunder vs Hornets

BetOnline ReviewSpreadMoney LineTotal Points
Charlotte Hornets+8.5 (-110)TBDTBD
Oklahoma City Thunder-8.5 (-110)TBDTBD

Thunder’s bright future

This was supposed to be another rebuilding year for the Thunder, who have 10 first-round picks over the next three seasons. However, the league’s youngest team (23.14 years of age) currently has a spot in the NBA Play-In Tournament with just seven games left in the year. In the running for the Most Improved Player award, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 31.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists in his fifth season.

Josh Giddey has also taken a leap, averaging 16.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game. The sophomore guard is on the verge of breaking Russell Westbrook’s franchise assist record. Oklahoma City finishes the campaign with four tough matchups against the Suns, Warriors, Jazz and Grizzlies. So, they need home wins over Charlotte and Detroit (two of the NBA’s three worst clubs) this week to keep their postseason hopes alive.

Hornets play spoiler

Charlotte is coming off back-to-back victories over the Mavericks. Dallas dropped to 11th in the Western Conference behind OKC following their fourth-straight loss. Steve Clifford’s squad is a respectable 5-5 in their past 10 games. Not bad given they have the third-worst record in the entire NBA over the course of the year.

The Hornets defeated the Thunder 121-113 in their only previous meeting back in December. However, their leading scorer in that game, LaMelo Ball, has since been shut down for the season with an ankle injury.

Shai Gilgeous-AlexanderMost Improved Player
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Mark DaigneaultCoach of the Year
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Oklahoma City vs Charlotte

Oklahoma City is a 8.5-point home favorite on Tuesday night. They’re 22-15 at home after winning their past five games in Paycor Center. Mark Daigneault’s club has also been defying oddsmakers all year, covering at a league best 59.7% (43-29-3). The Thunder are 23-14 (62.2%) against the spread at home – the fourth-best mark league-wide.

Charlotte has a 19-18-2 (51.4%) ATS record away from home – which is kind of incredible considering their 12-27 road record is bottom-five in the NBA. Thunder home games hit the OVER almost two-thirds of the time (64.9%), the highest rate in the league. When OKC is favored at Paycor Center, the OVER is also 12-6.

Best Bet

Battling for a playoff spot, Oklahoma City will be plenty motivated to run the Hornets out of the building. In addition to betting on the Thunder to cover the spread on Tuesday night, consider a longshot wager on Mark Daigneault to win Coach of the Year at +2500.

Oklahoma City ThunderTo Cover Spread
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Steve Starr

Steve is the quintessential American sports enthusiast. He has mastered the art of Sundays, devoting them to football, and barbecue parties. He proudly wears the hats of a good father, husband and a great dog owner. Aside from his decades of contributing to different top-tier sports publications, Steve has also found his niche on Twitter, where he publishes funny and relatable sports-related insights. When he's not busy tweeting, Steve loves to watch each game unfold live. He possesses an innate talent for finding humor in the sports world, appreciating both the thrilling moments and the comedic mishaps that make each event unique.