As North Carolina prepares to launch online sports betting, potentially before March Madness, the Charlotte Hornets are struggling on the court. Coming off a home loss to the 76ers, the Hornets take their 1-17 slide over 18 games on the road against the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Timberwolves.

With North Carolina projected to have three teams dancing in March Madness – Duke, UNC, and Wake Forest – residents eagerly await the launch of North Carolina sports betting apps. Top operators like DraftKings North Carolina, Bet365 North Carolina and FanDuel North Carolina are expected to offer exciting North Carolina betting promos and bonuses to attract customers. One particularly enticing deal could be a special Fanduel North Carolina promo code for risk-free bets or deposit matches.

But for now, North Carolina sports fans still awaiting mobile wagering must endure the pains of teams like the Charlotte Hornets. Losers of 17 of their last 18 contests, the Hornets have posted an abysmal -17.8 net rating over their past 10 road games. Backup center Nick Richards has missed two straight games and may be out again, forcing undersized P.J. Washington to match up with towering Timberwolves duo Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns.

The Timberwolves sit atop the West with the NBA’s best defensive rating (103.4) on their home floor this season. Fresh off a frustrating loss to Oklahoma City, they will be highly motivated to hold onto the top seed and should dominate the Hornets.

Minnesota enters as massive 14.5-point favorites with -1450 moneyline odds to win straight up. Charlotte is a monumental +850 underdog to pull the upset. With Mark Williams and potentially LaMelo Ball sidelined again, the Hornets will need heroic efforts from Terry Rozier and Miles Bridges to have any chance.

But with the Timberwolves’ suffocating defense and Charlotte’s league-worst -5.2 average rebounding margin, Minnesota should control the game. The total is set at just 224.5 points in what projects to be a relatively low-scoring affair by today’s NBA standards.

In their first meeting this season, also in Minnesota, the Timberwolves breezed to a 25-point win while holding the Hornets to just 97 points on 41.3% shooting. Expect more of the same this time around as the Timberwolves take out their frustrations on the swooning Hornets.

While the Hornets’ outlook remains bleak for this season, the potential launch of North Carolina sports betting should energize Tar Heel basketball fans. With powerhouses like Duke, UNC and Wake Forest likely dancing in March, residents will hopefully have access to major North Carolina sports betting apps like FanDuel to wager on March Madness.

Until then, Hornets backers may want to refrain from using any North Carolina betting promos on this team. Our best bet is to fade the struggling Hornets and lay the points with the Western Conference front-running Timberwolves at home.

✅ Fact Checked on January 23, 2024 by Ken Weaver