Hornets vs. Hawks NBA expert prediction and odds for Saturday, March 23 (Lay points with Atlanta?)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Charlotte Hornets-Atlanta Hawks matchup in the NBA on Saturday.
Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray.
Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray. / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks keep losing key players, now down Trae Young and Jalen Johnson, but they have a winnable matchup on Saturday against the Charlotte Hornets. 

Not only have the Hornets been banged up – without LaMelo Ball and Mark Williams for most of the season – but they’ve struggled mightily on the road, going just 8-28 overall. They come into this game on a three-game losing streak. 

Atlanta has struggled against the spread, but can the short-handed Hawks find a way to cover at home in this matchup?

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Here’s a look at the odds, key players and my best bet for this matchup: 

Hornets vs. Hawks odds, spread and total

Hornets vs. Hawks how to watch

  • Date: Saturday, March 23
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: State Farm Arena
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports Southeast
  • Hornets record: 17-52
  • Hawks record: 30-39

Hornets vs. Hawks injury reports

Hornets injury report

  • LaMelo Ball – out
  • Leaky Black – out
  • Marques Bolden – out
  • Seth Curry – out
  • Cody Martin – out 
  • Bryce McGowens – out
  • JT Thor – probable
  • Mark Williams – out

Hawks injury report

  • Saddiq Bey – out
  • Kobe Bufkin – out
  • Trae Young – out
  • AJ Griffin – out
  • Mouhamed Gueye – out
  • Jalen Johnson – out
  • Onyeka Okongwu – out
  • Seth Lundy – questionable

Hornets vs. Hawks key players to watch

Charlotte Hornets

Brandon Miller: Rookie Brandon Miller has been a bright spot for the team this season, averaging 16.7 points per game. He’s coming off a 21-point game on 20 shots in his last matchup, and he had 26 in his last meeting against Atlanta. He’ll be one of the key players to stop if the Hawks want to win and cover. 

Atlanta Hawks

Dejounte Murray: It seems like more and more is falling on Dejounte Murray with the Hawks down so many players. This season, the former All-Star is averaging 22.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game while shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 36.0 percent from 3. Can he carry the Hawks tonight? 

Hornets vs. Hawks prediction and pick 

This may seem crazy given Atlanta’s ATS struggles this season, but I’m going to lay the points with the Hawks in this one. 

The Hornets are still down several key players, and the team has been dreadful against the spread as a road underdog, going 12-23 this season. 

Atlanta is just 9-15 ATS as a home favorite, but the team has covered in three straight games in that spot. 

Meanwhile, the Hornets last seven losses have all come by double digits with the team losing to Philadelphia, Washington and Detroit in that stretch. The Hawks are better than Washington and Detroit by a wide margin, so I think the team can still pull this out against the Hornets. 

When debating betting on Charlotte, you have to look at this: The team ranks 29th in offensive rating, 26th in defensive rating and dead last in the NBA in net rating. Don’t trust the Hornets to cover – even at this number.  

Pick: Hawks -9.5 (-110)

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.