The Charlotte Hornets head into Washington tonight looking to snap a four-game losing streak. Washington is also looking to break a losing slide tonight, so we’ll preview the game before going over my best play for the action.
With the trade deadline one day away, the entire layouts of teams’ rosters could look completely different by the end of the week. Washington is one of those teams that can look a lot different come Friday, but in the meantime, they still need to continue to play games. Regardless of how their roster looks moving forward, the Wizards will need to get their defense back on track if they want to break their losing slide.
After winning three straight games, in which they held opponents to under 106 points in each game, the Wizards have now lost three in a row and allowed 114 or more points in those games. To put in perspective the drop-off in defensive success, the Wizards rank 14th in defensive efficiency rating over the last six games, but over the previous three games, that rating has them ranked 26th in the league.
Until their most recent game against the Cavs, the Wizards had been solid on the offensive end, but in that game, they only managed 91 points and shot 21% from the three-point line. On the bright side for Washington, their opponent tonight ranks 21st in opponent three-point percentage over the past five games, so they should be able to get back on track from behind the arc.
The Hornets have fallen into a pattern of not putting it together on both ends of the floor. Over the past five games, the Hornets rank 27th in offensive efficiency rating and 29th in true shooting percentage. Even though they had a solid game offensively in their last game by shooting 54% from the field, they still couldn’t get the job done because they allowed 119 points to be scored. This leads back to not playing a complete game on both ends of the court.
The Wizards are currently listed as -4 point favorites, but for my best bet, I’ll be taking their first-half spread of -2. Washington is 7-3 ATS in the first half over their last ten games, while Charlotte is 1-9 ATS in the first half in that same span. The Hornets are also 2-8 ATS in their last ten road games, and in that span, their 1H NET rating of -13.1 ranks 29th in the league.
Washington is the 8th highest-scoring team in the first quarter this season, while Charlotte is ranked 28th. The Wizards have generally been a good team out of the gate this season, especially recently, since their NET rating in the first half over the past ten games ranks 6th in the league.
The Wizards should be able to get back on track on the offensive end against Charlotte right from the opening tip. Charlotte is ranked 26th and 30th in first and second-quarter points allowed, and with the success, they’ve allowed opponents to find from three recently, I think Washington should be able to cover this small 1H spread number.
Washington Wizards 1H (-2)