NBA Odds: How Gordon Hayward Injury News Impacted Hornets Prices

Not looking good for Charlotte


November 26, 2022

It’s hard to find an ounce of optimism for Gordon Hayward and the Charlotte Hornets, and for good reason.

Before the Hornets tipped off the year in dominant fashion, defeating the San Antonio Spurs 129-102, Charlotte stood just about where you’d expect them to through the lenses of the oddsmakers — placing the Hornets as a +18000 longshot at winning the NBA Finals and +1400 underdogs just to finish atop the Southeast Division, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

The Hornets, who last season notched a 43-39 record and failed to qualify for the playoffs following their play-in loss against the Atlanta Hawks, have followed up with an ugly start through the first 20 games played in their 2022-23 campaign. And as a result, the oddsmakers — to no surprise — have little to no faith in Charlotte down the line, especially after the latest on Hayward who reportedly will be sidelined due to a left shoulder fracture.

Following the Hornets 110-108 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, the odds have seen a much-expected downward shift from where they previously stood.

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Here’s an updated outlook on Charlotte’s chances — as of Saturday — according to DraftKings:

Hornets odds of winning the NBA Finals: +100000
Hornets odds of winning the Eastern Conference: +60000
Hornets odds of winning the Southeast Division: +30000

Unless you’re feeling extremely lucky, kick the thought of those wagers off to the curb where they belong.

Hayward, who was in the process of making his third run with the Hornets after locking in a $120 million payday, has undergone a much similar hurdle with staying on the floor. During his first two seasons in Charlotte, in which the Hornets earned a play-in appearance in hopes of notching a playoff spot, Hayward has failed to deliver. He scored just 12 points in a do-or-die loss against the Hawks last season, and didn’t play the year prior during an atrocious 144-117 beatdown from the Indiana Pacers.

Before coming face-to-face with the injury bug, yet again, Hayward made 11 starts for the Hornets this season and averaged 16.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists — serving as one of five Charlotte players to notch double-digit scoring averages. The 32-year-old veteran also provided the best source of outside scoring for Charlotte, shooting 38.1% from 3-point territory on 3.8 attempts per game.

The Hornets, who have gone 1-0 in games since the Hayward news, return to the floor on Monday to face off against the Boston Celtics. Tipoff from TD Garden is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Daniel Dunn/USA TODAY Sports Images

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