Hornets vs. Thunder NBA expert prediction and odds for Friday, Feb. 2 (OKC is elite at home)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Oklahoma City Thunder's matchup with the Charlotte Hornets.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder are just a game out of the top spot in the Western Conference heading into Friday night’s matchup with the lowly Charlotte Hornets in OKC.

On paper, this should be an easy win for the Thunder, but the team was upset earlier this week on Sunday by the Detroit Pistons. 

Things will hopefully be different at home for Thunder fans where the team is 13-6 against the spread when favored. 

Charlotte has been in a tailspin, as the team has seen LaMelo Ball come in and out of the lineup with injuries and it already made a trade to rebuild, sending Terry Rozier to the Miami Heat. The Hornets come into this game on a five-game skid. 

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Let’s break down the odds and a best bet for this game with the Thunder sitting pretty as major favorites at Paycom Center.

Hornets vs. Thunder odds, spread and total

Hornets vs. Thunder how to watch

  • Date: Friday, Feb. 2
  • Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Paycom Center
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports South, Bally Sports Southeast
  • Hornets record: 10-36
  • Thunder record: 33-15

Hornets vs. Thunder injury reports

Hornets injury report

  • Amari Bailey – out
  • LaMelo Ball – doubtful
  • Gordon Hayward – out
  • Mark Williams – out

Thunder injury report

  • Isaiah Joe – out
  • Jalen Williams – out

Hornets vs. Thunder key players to watch

Charlotte Hornets

Brandon Miller: Hornets rookie Brandon Miller has gotten a ton of touches with Terry Rozier now in Miami and LaMelo Ball in and out of the lineup due to ankle injuries. Miller is averaging 15.3 points per game on the season, but he’s put up 20 or more points in six of his last eight games. 

Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: An All-Star starter, SGA continues to carry the load for the Thunder, scoring at least 31 points in eight consecutive games. He should have a field day against a Charlotte team that lacks an elite guard defender and is currently dead last in the NBA in defensive rating. 

Hornets vs. Thunder prediction and pick

This is a ton of points to lay with the Thunder – especially since they lost outright as major favorites to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday – but the team has been dominant as a home favorite. 

OKC is 13-6 ATS when favored at home, and the team now gets the second-worst team against the spread in the NBA. Charlotte has failed to cover in five straight, and the team has just 16 games where it has covered the spread all season. 

With LaMelo Ball looking unlikely to play, I have to take OKC to win this game – and win big. 

The Thunder are No. 2 in the NBA in net rating this season while the Hornets are dead last, and Charlotte’s league-worst defense is going to have a hard time keeping up with SGA and this explosive OKC attack. 

I’ll trust the Thunder at home since they’ve been so good there this season. 

Pick: Thunder -16 (-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.