Betting on the Charlotte Hornets last season was quite the experience. They reinvented their offense without compromising their defense, ultimately deploying a top-10 attack on both sides of the ball and briefly flirting with the idea that they might be worthy of an Eastern Conference Finals appearance. That goal proved too ambitious, as they fell in seven games to the Miami Heat during the first round of the playoffs, but they have a clear direction in place. And if they can advance their current model, the Hornets will be due all kinds of betting dap. [+]

Unfortunately for bettors, they haven't marched forward with that momentum. They have neither a top-10 offense nor defense anymore. The latter has devolved more than people expected, and as a result, the Hornets are no longer a playoff team.

Things can change on a whim in the NBA's Eastern Conference, but it could also be a while before the Hornets return to their 2015-16 selves. And until they do, your betting on them should, by and large, be tapered.

Charlotte Hornets Betting Lines Today

Everything you need to bet the Charlotte Hornets' next game is here: moneylines, spreads, overs, unders and even start times. [+]

Ensure that returning here until you actually place your wager becomes common practice. Single game lines don't change much in the NBA, but it does happen. Players get injured. They get rest days. They return from injuries. Sometimes too much action is simply being funneled one way and sportsbooks are forced to adjust their odds.

Try double checking these lines in general with those at your favorite sportsbook as well, regardless of potential mid-day shifts. Games odds can vary at different sportsbooks, and while the discrepancies are almost always small, the slights alteration can change how you see or make a certain wager. 

Tuesday, Apr 07 20:00 EDT
NBA
Charlotte Hornets
@
New Orleans Pelicans

Welcome to your look at the Charlotte Hornets' entire schedule. It not only shows you future matchups, but also the scores of past games. [+]

Jumping ahead in the schedule is always a good idea. You won't have offical game lines to work with when researching those forthcoming tilts, but you can still measure up the opponents, comparing and contrasting records, rosters, rotations and play styles. 

Do this, and once the sportsbooks roll out their official odds, you'll have no trouble making an educated bet early on.

Poring through the Hornets' previous games, meanwhile, is the best way to detect betting patterns. Ask yourself some of the following questions, among others, in your approach to each bet, and you'll be totally golden:

How do the Hornets play at home? Are they a good road team? Have they fared better against the under or the over this season? What is their record against Western Conference squads? How about Eastern Conference squads? Are they beating flimsy defensive units? And how are they playing against better offensive attacks?

Results / FixturesCharlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets Standings Right Now

All futures bettors should use this look at the Charlotte Hornets current standings to craft the best possible big picture bets. [+]

Daily gamblers can use it, too. But records don't reveal much about spreads, overs and unders. That's where play styles come in. If you are betting moneylines, though, these standings can be an extremely useful single play tool.

For futures bettors specifically, you're looking at where the Hornets sit inside their division, the Eastern Conference and relative to the rest of the NBA. Pit their records up against established contenders in each category, and you'll have a strong of idea of where—or if—Charlotte is a strong futures option.

StandingsCharlotte Hornets

How To Win At Charlotte Hornets Betting

Although the Charlotte Hornets' identity has shifted for the worse in recent years, they remain solid under plays.

Head coach Steve Clifford is a defensive whiz, and chances are he will right the ship before long. No matter how low the Hornets' offense sags, then, you should still be able to make money off that typically stingy defense—so long as Clifford remains in charge.

Projecting more of their future is tough, though. They have an All-Star point guard in Kemba Walker, who is on one of the NBA's most reasonable contracts, but they don't have ton of cap flexibility. They will only be able to add impact players via trade.

But it takes value to get value. If they are going to build a blockbuster-style offer, it means getting rid of one or more of Marvin Williams, Nicolas Batum, Cody Zeller or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist—all of whom, with the exception of Zeller, have underachieved in the last year so.

Even if the Hornets are able to pivot, though, you have to wait and see what the final product looks like. They have been up and down for too long, vacillating between playoff bids and lottery appearances, since Clifford took the reins. You don't all of a sudden want to dive head first into their futures just because they pulled off a quality move or two over the offseason that none of us saw coming.

So stick to single-game bets on the Hornets. If they become dark horse Eastern Conference contenders or championship hopefuls, you will know 10 games or more into that particular season. But it's best to wait for confirmation rather than get burned on a premature futures wager just because you are interested in capitalizing on early-bird lines.

The Hornets are a midseason team, not a preseason betting play, and that's that.