Hornets vs Nuggets Picks and Predictions for March 17

Updated: March 17, 2021

Denver ranks fifth in offensive rating, sixth in effective field goal percentage, and fifth in 3-point shooting, due in large part to Nikola Jokic’s 27.3 points per game and strong playmaking skills.

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There is a bit of a buzz lately around the Charlotte Hornets, who are winners of four in a row and have climbed into fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

But the Hornets’ opposition has been soft over that stretch and they may need the luck of the Irish to upset Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets as 6.5-point NBA betting underdogs this St. Patrick’s Day. 

Who has a four-leaf clover in their back pocket for this one? Check out our NBA free picks and predictions for Hornets vs. Nuggets on Wednesday, March 17 with tipoff scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET.

Charlotte Hornets at Denver Nuggets betting preview


Hornets: No injuries to report.
Nuggets: Gary Harris SG (Out), Monte Morris PG (Out), R.J. Hampton PG (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 5-0 in the Hornets’ last five games as underdogs and 6-1 in the Nuggets’ last seven home games versus a team with a losing road record. Find more NBA betting trends for Hornets vs. Nuggets.

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Oddsmakers opened the Nuggets as 6.5-point home chalk, with a total of 231. Early action on this matchup has come in on the Under. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Against the spread (ATS) pick

Yes, the Hornets have won four in a row and five of six. But the wins in that stretch have come against the Kings (twice), the COVID-Raptors, the Pistons and the Timberwolves. So, not much to write home about.

In reality, the Hornets, while they have some exciting young pieces, are a middling team that ranks 17th in offensive efficiency and 14th in defensive efficiency and they tend to struggle against strong shooting teams, ranking 28th in opponent effective field goal percentage.

And there aren’t many better shooting teams out there than the Nuggets.

Led by Jokic, the Nuggets rank fifth in offensive rating, sixth in effective field goal percentage, and fifth in 3-point shooting. The Joker is a big reason for that of course. Not only is he averaging 27.3 points per game on 56.2 percent shooting, but his playmaking and court vision create countless open looks for his teammates.

And Denver comes into this game in a groove. It has won six of its last seven ball games, going 5-2 ATS, and has an average margin of victory of 11.4 points per game over that span. Additionally, while the Nuggets aren’t a standout defensive team, they defend the perimeter fairly well, and Charlotte relies heavily on the three ball for success. 

Mix in the fact that the Hornets turn over the ball far too often, and the Nuggets’ transition offense will eat them alive. Lay the points with the favorite. 

PREDICTION: Nuggets -6.5 (-110)

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Over/Under pick

The total for this matchup hit the board at 229 and early action has come in on the Under, but we may be leaning the other way. The Nuggets rank sixth in the league in scoring, putting up 115.3 points per game and we have already talked about the advantage they will have against a leaky Hornets’ defense.

Meanwhile, the Hornets have taken advantage of questionable defenses as well, putting up 119.9 points per contest over their last eight games, eclipsing the 120 mark five times in that stretch, with the Over going 5-3. And even though the Nuggets have done a decent job of defending the 3-point line, that probably won’t stop the Hornets from jacking up treys.

Charlotte is on a three-game Under run but the Over had gone 9-1 in the Hornets’ 10 games prior to that, and with this particular matchup, we like the Over to get rolling once again.

PREDICTION: Over 229 (-110)

Player prop pick

One of the major recipients of the many beautiful Jokic passes has been Michael Porter Jr., and he has been making the most of his opportunities this season. The 6-foot-10 wing is shooting 42 percent from 3-point range this season and is coming off an eight-game stretch where he hit 3.3 threes per game while shooting a ridiculous 55.3 percent from deep.

Now, he is coming off his first 0-fer night in a while, going 0 for 4 from three against the Pacers, but that might have given us a nice number for tonight’s matchup against the Hornets. It’s on the board at 2.5 and Porter is going against a Charlotte team that is so-so at defending the perimeter.

We’re betting Porter gets back on track and goes Over his made threes prop in this one.

PREDICTION: Michael Porter Jr. Over 2.5 Made Threes (-120)

Hornets vs Nuggets betting card

  • Nuggets -6.5 (-110)
  • Over 229 (-110)
  • Michael Porter Jr. Over 2.5 Made Threes (-120)

NBA parlays

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Use our NBA parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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