[8:00 PM] Hornets @ Bucks

Who will WIN this matchup?

Charlotte Hornets (0-0)

@ Milwaukee Bucks (0-0)


Current odds:

Charlotte Hornets: (-130)

Milwaukee Bucks: (+110)


ESPN simulations have Charlotte as XX% favorites to win the game.

XX% of sports bets are currently on Milwaukee to win as (TBD) underdogs.

The line for this game Charlotte by 2 points.

The leading scorer could miss the entire season following hamstring surgery and the team leader in assists was traded away, but the Milwaukee Bucks still believe they are a better team heading into this season than they were in 2015-16. The reasons for optimism stem from the young roster, and the Bucks will put their pieces on display when they host the Charlotte Hornets in the season opener on Wednesday.

Charlotte lost backup center Al Jefferson and backup guard Jeremy Lin to free agency and will shovel more responsibility onto 24-year-old Jeremy Lamb and 23-year-old Frank Kaminsky. The Hornets’ biggest free agent signing was former star center Roy Hibbert, who is trying to resurrect his career at age 29 after posting averages of 5.9 points and 4.9 rebounds with the lowly Los Angeles Lakers last season. Hibbert will likely be in the starting lineup on Wednesday with Cody Zeller limited by a bone bruise in his right knee.

Milwaukee was well out of the postseason race for much of the second half last season and used the time to experiment with 6-11 Giannis Antetokounmpo as the point guard. The experiment worked so well that the Bucks traded point guard Michael Carter-Williams to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for small forward Tony Snell, who is expected to replace some of the wing scoring and 3-point shooting the team is missing with Middleton out. Milwaukee will go as far as Antetokounmpo (16.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists in 2015-16) and fellow 21-year-old Jabari Parker (14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds) can carry it.

Hornets F Marvin Williams (broken finger) is expected to play on Wednesday while C Kaminsky (foot) is questionable.

Antetokounmpo recorded five triple-doubles after the All-Star break last season.

Charlotte took three of the four meetings last season, including both in Milwaukee by an average of 13.5 points.


StreakSmarts Pick: Milwaukee Bucks

Confidence: 4/10

StreakSmarter Pick