Like all NBA teams, the Charlotte Hornets have scored their fair share of betting upsets over the past decade. A handful of those unlikely victories stand out as particularly impressive because of just how big the NBA odds were in favor of the Hornets’ opponents.
Of course, the thing about major upsets is that it usually requires a very bad team to beat a very good team. So naturally, that means many of the Hornets’ biggest upset wins have come when the team was at its lowest ebb – their most recent 100 games.
Hornets 128, Timberwolves 125
Date: Jan. 22, 2024
Yes, you don’t have to go back far to find one of the Hornets’ biggest upsets in recent memory. Charlotte was a 14-point underdog on Jan. 22 when it trekked up to Minnesota, having lost seven of its last eight games.
The Hornets proceeded to carve up Minnesota’s defense, netting 58 points in the paint and shooting 71% from inside the arc. It was one of the biggest upsets of the entire NBA season …
Hornets 111, Kings 104
Date: Jan. 2, 2024
… But not quite the biggest upsets of Charlotte’s season. That’s because just three weeks earlier, the Hornets pulled off an unexpected win in Sacramento as a 15.5-point underdog.
Charlotte had lost 11 straight games, and the NBA betting market expected the Kings to roll in an easy home win. Instead, Terry Rozier scored a game-high 34 points, and PJ Washington was a game-best +16 on 7-for-13 shooting.
The Hornets finished the month with a dreadful 3-13 record – the worst mark in the NBA – yet still beat two of the five best teams in the West. Go figure.
Hornets 117, Mavericks 109
Date: March 24, 2023
Let’s go back to the 2022-23 season, when a reeling Hornets team beat the Dallas Mavericks so badly on their home floor that they were virtually booed off the court by their own fans.
It was late in the season, and Charlotte was 27 games under .500, and the Hornets had closed as a 16-point underdog. But life comes at you fast, and Dallas trailed Charlotte by as many as 18 points in the third quarter. The fans let rip.
After the game, Mavs coach Jason Kidd described his team’s effort as “dog s***.”
Hornets 99, Raptors 96
Date: Feb. 28, 2020
Ahh, February 2020. A simpler time. Rudy Gobert had yet to deliver the COVID test heard ’round the world.
As far as Charlotte was concerned, it was looking for a signature road win against the reigning NBA champions: the Toronto Raptors. And while Charlotte wasn’t a playoff team, it had put together a strong stretch of four wins in six games and was playing well.
The NBA betting market didn’t give Charlotte much of a chance, pricing the Hornets as 13.5-point underdogs. The game was tied late at 96 apiece when the refs whistled Rondae Hollis-Jefferson for a bad foul away from the ball with 2.1 seconds remaining. Rozier sank the clutch free throw, and Charlotte earned a big win.
Just 12 days later, the NBA suspended the season.
Hornets 103, Raptors 95
Date: Jan. 8, 2015
You’ve got to go all the way back to 2015 for this one. Once again, the Hornets were planning a road trip that would involve an international border cross, and once again, Charlotte was a big underdog. In this case, the market closed at Charlotte +12.5.
This was the era of Gerald Henderson and Kemba Walker. Both players combined for 60 points on 56% shooting. And to really highlight how different the NBA was back then, note that they got to 60 with only one total 3-pointer.
Toronto had only lost three home games prior to Charlotte’s visit but turned the ball over 14 times and shot less than 40% from the floor as a team.
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