Los Angeles Lakers at Charlotte Hornets Free Pick - Odds and Against the Spread Predictions

December 15, 7:00 PM EST

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Charlotte +1.5

The Los Angeles Lakers (17-11) will travel to the Queen City to take on the Charlotte Hornets (14-13) at the Spectrum Center also known as “The Hive” for a cross-conference collision on Saturday, December 15th, 2018. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 PM ET and will be broadcasted on FSN. This is the first meeting of the year between the Lakers and Hornets as the two teams last met in January in Los Angeles with the Hornets emerging victorious by a score of 108-94 covering as 2.5-point chalk. The Hornets overall have won six of the previous seven meetings.

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Los Angeles Lakers at Charlotte Hornets Overview

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers enter into this contest on the heels of a 126-111 defeat to the Houston Rockets in Clutch City on Thursday while failing to cover as a 5.5-point underdog. Previous to this result, the Lakers had pieced together a 6-1 SU run dating back to November. The Lakers are 11-16 ATS in the 2018-19 campaign.

Charlotte Hornets

The Swarm comes into this contest on a three-game winning streak capped off by a 108-107 victory against the Detroit Pistons at home on Wednesday. The Hornets are 16-11 ATS this season.

Reasons To Avoid Los Angeles

When LeBron James is on the court, takers can expect to pay a premium to back the side he is on. As the game's best player perhaps ever LBJ-led outfits are notoriously poor against the spread. This year's dossier of Lakers' wins straight up versus against the spread speaks into this phenomenon. For historical reference, takers can look no further than the performance of the Cavaliers regarding profitability in point spread markets compared to their actual win and loss record. Here, Los Angeles may be once again overvalued as they are just 6-7 SU on the road this season against a basketball team that stands at 10-5 SU on their own court.

Reasons To Back Charlotte

The Hornets also own several statistical advantages that should be mentioned. First, the Hornets feature a deeper bench and commit fewer turnovers. This is significant in what is forecasted to be a four-quarter game that could be settled by mere possession. Very simply, the Lakers will find themselves in a vulnerable state unless King James plays all 48 minutes.

Moreover, Los Angeles remains the worst free-throw shooting team in the NBA hitting just 70% of their attempts. The Hornets are one of the best hitting a seventh-ranked 80.1% of their attempts from the charity stripe. This is a significant edge also going the Queen City’s way as the Lakers may struggle to close this one out in a notoriously hostile setting.

Lakers at Hornets Prediction 12/15/2018

Given all the metrics, it is safe to conclude that the Hornets would be favored in this fixture had the Lakers not had LeBron James wearing a yellow jersey. We will take advantage of this narrative and back the team offered at a better price. Charlotte gets the win.

Free Pick: 
Take Charlotte +105
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