Houston Rockets vs. Charlotte Hornets Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 12/27/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Monday, Dec 27, 2021
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Venue: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
Where to watch: Bally Sports Southeast-Charlotte, AT&T SportsNet-Southwest

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Hornets -6
BetMGM: Hornets -5.5
Caesars: Hornets -6.5

Season record
Rockets: 10-23 (15th place, Western Conference)
Hornets: 17-17 (8th place, Eastern Conference)

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Rockets - Hornets preview and analysis

Recent form
Rockets: lost three straight; lost 118-106 at Pacers on Dec. 23
Hornets: won 115-107 at Nuggets on Dec. 23

Despite going 4-9 in their last 13, I like the struggling Charlotte Hornets to get back on track Monday against the just-as-struggling Houston Rockets in Charlotte.

The Hornets find themselves back at .500 after a rough December, winning only four games in the month and losing to the likes of a shorthanded Milwaukee Bucks team, these same Rockets in overtime, a banged-up Dallas Mavericks squad, and the Philadelphia 76ers twice.

Charlotte is one of the rising teams in the Eastern Conference, but growing pains were expected with how young the Hornets still are. They enter Monday's game after ending a three-game losing streak on Thursday in an 8-point victory at the Denver Nuggets to wrap up a six-game road trip; the Hornets have a stretch of seven of eight on the road.

The Hornets got a team-high 23 points off the bench from Kelly Oubre Jr., and had to withstand a 29-point, 21-rebound game from Nikola Jokic. Terry Rozier had 17 points, while LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges had 16 for Charlotte, which put 115 points on the board despite shooting 41.5 percent and going 16 of 47 from 3-point range.

"We just wanted it more," Oubre said.

Despite that dropoff, the Hornets haven't fallen too far out of the East standings; they're still 7th and virtually tied with the Sixers in that play-in area. The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors are only a half-game back, and the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks aren't far behind, either.

In short, the East is a cluster right now from 6-11.

The Rockets have also fallen off since winning seven in a row. They've only won two of nine since Dec. 8 and are currently on a 3-game losing streak; they lost 118-106 at the Indiana Pacers on Thursday. This game at Charlotte wraps up a five-game road trip for the Rockets.

Christian Wood led the Rockets with 22 points, and Houston shot only 43.8 percent to the Pacers' 52.3 percent.

"Our offense got stagnant," he said. "We didn't attack the zone the way we should."

The Rockets are 1-5 against the spread in their last six after covering the previous four. Charlotte is 7-3 ATS in the last 10, including a cover as 2-point dogs against the Nuggets.


One tidbit we overlooked: Jalen Green’s return could help the Rockets as the days go. The opening line appears to be the Hornets laying seven, and that seems like a good number to take the favorites on. Charlotte is only 1-2 ATS when favorites between 5-7 points, but Houston is only 1-4 ATS when getting the points. I like Charlotte to win in the low 10s and cover. Hornets by 12

Betting trends

The Rockets are 21-47 ATS following a non-conference game over the past three seasons.

The Rockets are 12-15 ATS as a road dog this season.

The Hornets are 10-2 ATS at home this season and 43-33 over the past three seasons.

The Hornets are 8-2 ATS after losing three of four.

Projected starting lineup

PG: Jalen Green
SG: Armoni Brooks
Eric Gordon
Jae’Sean Tate
Christian Wood

PG: LaMelo Ball
SG: Terry Rozier
Gordon Hayward
Jalen McDaniels
Mason Plumlee

Key injuries

Rockets: Kevin Porter Jr. (thigh, questionable), Garrison Matthews (COVID, out), D.J. Augustin (COVID, out), John Wall (out)

Hornets: Miles Bridges (COVID, out)

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert basketball picks today. And if you enjoyed this Houston Rockets - Charlotte Hornets prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NBA projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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