Why the Toronto Raptors Desperately Need to Beat the Charlotte Hornets

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Jan 11, 2023 07:00 PM
Why the Toronto Raptors Desperately Need to Beat the Charlotte Hornets

Much to the surprise of the online NBA betting scene during the 2022-23 season, the Toronto Raptors have proven to be not just fool's gold but actively bad. And entering their matchup with the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday, January 12, at 7:40 p.m. EST, the clock is ticking on their ability to salvage what is fast becoming a lost year.

Please make no mistake; we are not overstating the gravity of the Raptors' situation. Though they have a positive point differential, their net rating per 100 possessions is buoyed by a couple of blowout victories earlier in the season. And while injuries have dampened aspects of their ceiling, there's no excuse for them sitting five games under .500 roughly halfway through the schedule.

Toronto's struggles, which include issues at both ends of the floor, have left many around the league wondering whether they're currently making their last stand. They are amidst a three-game home stretch that features two games against the Hornets, one of the Association's worst teams. Toronto already won the first meeting versus Charlotte, but anything short of a perfect 3-0 mini streak could open this team up to serious changes. That's why you're seeing their odds of making the NBA playoffs plummet relative to the start of the season.

According to Thursday's linemakers, however, the Raptors will live to fight another day. You can see the latest NBA online betting odds for Toronto's matchup with Charlotte below, courtesy of the folks over at BetOnline:

Toronto Raptors-320+260Charlotte Hornets

Double-check these online NBA betting odds until you submit your Raptors vs. Hornets predictions. Our betting odds for Hornets vs. Raptors are accurate entering the morning of Thursday, January 12. Single-game lines don't tend to move much in the NBA, but oddsmakers have until the opening tip-off to make adjustments.

Of course, anyone signed up with the right odds provider doesn't have to worry about missing last-minute changes. That's why we've cobbled together reviews of the top online sportsbooks—to help everyone easily spot the best online NBA betting sites.

Let's get to some Hornets vs. Raptors picks, shall we?

Should the Toronto Raptors be THIS Heavily Favored to Take Down the Charlotte Hornets?

The Raptors, to their credit, have a winning record at home, where they have also been a lot better at protecting the ball. Still, the way they play is prone to an exceptional number of lows.

Getting out in transition and crashing the offensive glass is the bread and butter of their offensive production. That's fine on some nights. On others, you must generate high-quality looks in the half-court and knock down your threes in those situations. Toronto has failed to do that essentially all season.

Fortunately for the Raptors, the Hornets are not especially imposing competition these days. LaMelo Ball's return from injury has given their offense some extra juice, but they do a terrible job of getting stops both in the half-court and on the break, and they are inclined to commit a whole bunch of fouls.

Very few victories have come easily for the Raptors this year. A second straight win over the Hornets could rank among their exceptions.

OSB Prediction: Toronto Raptors (-320)

Toronto Raptors To beat the Charlotte Hornets

Don't Trust the Raptors to Cover Against the Hornets

Here is the latest NBA point spread betting odds for the Raptors vs. Hornets game on Thursday night:

  • Toronto Raptors, -7.5 (-112)
  • Charlotte Hornets, +7.5 (-108)

After watching the Raptors win by ten over the Hornets just a couple of days ago, many will be inclined to take Toronto's side of the spread. We'd caution against it.

Yes, the Raptors are the better team. But they have also ranked among the NBA's most turbulent roller coasters all season. You can't just count on them to cover sizable spreads—not even when they're at home. What's more, whenever teams play each other back-to-back like we're getting here, you tend to see the second game finish under tighter circumstances. Each squad not only has additional tape to study the other, but they've now lived the experience—and done so recently.

Siding with the Hornets gives us pause. They have covered just 45 percent of their games this season. But that share is higher with LaMelo in the fold, and head coach Steve Clifford is a whiz at adjusting to opponents his teams just faced.

OSB Prediction: Charlotte Hornets, +7.5 (-108)

Charlotte Hornets To cover the point spread vs the Toronto Raptors

Betting on the Over in Charlotte vs. Toronto Seems Too Ambitious

Below you can see the latest NBA over/under betting odds for the Hornets vs. Raptors game on Thursday night:

  • Over 231 (-108)
  • Under 231 (-112)

The "over" for this game would be significantly more interesting if the Raptors and Hornets didn't square off. Defensive schemes are usually stingier when teams get a second consecutive look at each other. We expect that to be the case here.

Specifically, the Raptors and Hornets should be more equipped to keep the other out of transition. And considering how dependent each of these teams has become on their fast-break offense, it wouldn't surprise us to see one of them fail to cross the 100-point threshold.

OSB Prediction: Under 231 (-112)

Raptors and Hornets To score under 231 points combined

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all of your NBA betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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