75% of the betting public like Charlotte heading into the October 22nd Hornets at Cavs matchup. It makes sense, Charlotte bounced back from a 23 point deficit in their season opener to come back and eek out a 123-122 win over the Pacers as +1.5 home underdogs.
Cleveland on the other hand wasn’t as fortunate suffering a 132-121 loss at Memphis as +7 point underdogs. There were some bright spots for the Cavaliers though, something they hope to build on as +2.5 home underdogs in game two.
Hornets Need Stronger Start
Charlotte wasn’t looking good to start the 2021/22 campaign falling down 75-59 at half in the opener. The Hornets were able to clear out their offseason cobwebs and rebound for a 67-47 2nd half romp en route to just pulling out a 123-122 win.
The biggest star of the season opener was LaMelo Ball, who went for 31/9/7 to become the youngest player in NBA history to post a 30/5/5 outing in a season opener. Gordon Hayward also added 27 points on 10 of 22 shooting as Charlotte had six players scored 10+ points. Indiana doesn’t have the same defense as they used to either though, ranking 26th in opponents pts/game and 13th in defensive efficiency.
While getting a win in the opener was nice, Charlotte still has some concerns heading into the October 22nd Hornets at Cavaliers pick. The Hornets got owned on the block by Damontas Sabonis (33 points, 15 rebounds) and getting lit up for a combined 55 points by the Pacers backcourt duo of Malcolm Brogdon and Chris Duarte.
Cavs in a Good Spot?
The betting public doesn’t like Cleveland on Friday night but the fact they are just +2.5 underdogs coming off an 11-point loss at Memphis on Wednesday. Just like the Hornets have some concerns with their defense, so do the Cavs after allowing 132 points to Memphis last time out.
Ja Morant exploited Cleveland for 37 points on 17 of 29 shooting meaning another big night for Charlotte’s Ball could be coming. Steven Adams grabbed 14 rebounds against Cleveland as well although the Hornets don’t have that same type of interior presence.
Cleveland is 0-1 but they have to like the NBA debut of #3 overall pick Evan Mobley who went for 17 points with 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Mobley should be able to do a lot of the same things that Sabonis did against Charlotte in the season opener as the Hornets have struggled vs. versatile big men the past couple seasons. Jarrett Allen was also 11 for 11 from the field for the Cavs in game one as part of five Cleveland players who chipped in at least a dozen points.
October 22nd Hornets at Cavs Pick
The public is hammering the Hornets but that seems like the wrong lean. Charlotte is getting Terry Rozier back from an ankle injury that cost him the season opener but is that going to mess with the chemistry that the Hornets showed in the 2nd half of game 1?
The Cavs struggled in their opener but on the road and against what looks like a good Grizzlies team. Cleveland getting +2.5 points seems like a gift in this spot in what should be a high scoring game.
Cavaliers 122 – Hornets 116
Free Pick: Cavaliers +2.5
Free Pick: Over 225.5