Raptors vs. Hornets Player Props Tonight: Best bets, live updates & betting advice on Immanuel Quickley, Brandon Miller, more

Welcome to the latest edition of the Sporting News’ NBA Prop-A-Shot, our weekly live betting blog that helps you boost your bankroll.

Today is all about the new-look Raptors, Immanuel Quickley and newly minted All-Star Scottie Barnes on the road against the Hornets.

From a betting standpoint, we have already identified plenty of value. Let’s provide a little context about the NBA Prop-A-Shot, and explain how this all this works:

  • Every Wednesday morning and throughout the day, we share our top prop bets and hand-picked wagers
  • During the live window, we’ll follow our picks, surface any noteworthy lines, AND detail the angles and opportunities we look for in the live betting market.
  • At the end of the night, we will follow up on each bet, discuss which of our wagers hit and which missed, and go over any major storylines or surprising developments in the NBA that may have shaken up the betting world.

Seven weeks into our Prop-A-Shot series, our Wednesday best bets have gone 68-45. That’s a .602 winning percentage! The season is still young, and there’s plenty more money for us to make — so let’s dive back in and tip things off for Prop-A-Shot #8!

Remember to check back throughout the day for more picks, and then join us this evening at 7:00 p.m. ET for updates, live value betting opportunities, and all our betting results as the game concludes. For now, let’s get you started with our favorite pregame bets and over/under props.

Raptors at Hornets: Updates, live betting advice

All times are p.m. ET. All odds and bets are from BetMGM, an authorized betting retailer of the NBA.

6:10 p.m. ET: We’re exactly one hour from tipoff in Charlotte, and the 17-33 Raptors are -7.5 favorites. As much as we like the new-look Raps, we can’t imagine betting them to win by eight this early in the roster reconstruction phase — even against a 10-39 Hornets team that’s without LaMelo Ball. Fade the spread and opt instead to bet Immanuel Quickley OVER 6.5 assists (-130). We also like the alternate UNDER of 228.5 at -145. If we were to bet a spread amount of any kind, we would take on some juice and bet the home-team Hornets at +9.5 (-150). Our favorite prop at plus odds happens to be the same best bet we highlighted earlier today (see below), Quickley to hit three-pointers (+105)

7:00: With 10 minutes until the tip, Brandon Miller’s points total somehow still sits at 22.5 with just -125 odds. We can’t overstate how much value you’re getting here — he’s on an extreme heater coming off Rookie of the Month honors in January, and he’s scored 68 points over his past two games. With Ball sidelined and Terry Rozier in Miami, the usage rate should remain sky-high for the No. 2 overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft.

7:15: Through two and a half minutes, the Hornets have hit all four shots they have taken (two from three-point land) and lead the Raps 12-3. Of course. Toronto’s spread has shortened to -2.5. Jump on it. Charlotte will come back to Earth. 

7:25: Good defense and some hot Gary Trent shooting has propelled a 10-3 Toronto run, trimming the Charlotte lead to 18-13. This is why we’re never reactionary in the first few minutes of games. It’s also why waiting until the live betting window often bags you the most bang for your betting buck. 

7:38: Watching some of these Raptors’ possessions is difficult. As Coldplay would sing “Nobody said it was easy.” Toronto has made a bunch of head-scratching decisions, like switching backup point guard Dennis Schröder onto power forward Miles Bridges in the post with no help and holding the ball as the shot-clock expires. Charlotte scored 36 first-quarter points and heads into the commercial break up 36-27. Raptors are at -1.5, which we would bullishly back. 

7:40: Dennis Schröder UNDER 0.5 three-pointers is at +120, something we would consider pulling the trigger on. He has been relegated to a playmaking backup role, and it’s clear that Darko Rajaković has capped his usage. Shröder has hit zero treys in three of Toronto’s past four games. Gary Trent OVER 4.5 three-pointers (-120) also seems intriguing. He has already hit three and he’s beaming with confidence.

7:50: A little over halfway through the second frame, Charlotte just went on a 7-0 run and trimmed the Hornets lead to 44-42. The over/under has jumped up to 232.5, which would probably have us betting the UNDER since Toronto remembered it’s allowed to play defense.

8:08: It’s 57-51 Charlotte at halftime. The Raps cut the lead to one point with just a minute or so left in the half, then the Hornets hit another couple wide-open shots and it swung back in their favor. We still think Toronto can win this game, but who knows at this point. The Raptors just can’t maintain efficiency on both ends of the floor. They’re -2.5 and the over/under at intermission is 229.5.

8:15: There could be some value in the UNDER still, since the Raps held the Hornets to just 24 points in the second quarter. They need to find a way to stop Miles Bridges, though.

8:30: I’ve never seen anything like this. Miles Bridges is absolutely eviscerating the Raptors, and yet they keep leaving him wide open. It’s like sagging off a guy who’s on fire in NBA2K. Bridges just scored his 32nd point a little past the halfway point of the third quarter. He’s missed just two of his 14 shots. 

8:45: Charlotte leads the Raptors 97-91 after an insane 74-point third quarter. “Only down six,” the Raptors’ color analyst keeps saying. Yes, but they were also only down six at halftime and then they didn’t win the third quarter. “Just need some defense.” Yeah, your guys just let the hottest player in the game (Miles Bridges) get a handful of wide-open shots and you gave up 37 in a quarter. And when Toronto does get stops, they struggle to grab boards.

9:00: Just when we thought we were out…they PULL US BACK IN! Toronto has gone on a massive run and taken its first lead in forever. The Raps are playing D, holding Charlotte to 3-for-12 in the fourth quarter as we approach the halfway point of the final frame. It’s 106-105 Toronto and I can’t explain how happy I am to have stayed bullish on the Raptors. 

IQ’s confidence has really grown since the Raptors traded for him last month. We’re seeing him play with a natural rhythm and creating high-percentage shots off the dribble, and the results have been promising. He has knocked down 41 treys in his past 15 games with Toronto, and he has three or more triples in six of his past 14.

In case you didn’t know, Charlotte stinks defensively. The Hornets struggle to defend the three-ball, surrendering the sixth-most threes in the NBA (13.6 per game) and allowing opponents to shoot an NBA-best 39.6 percent from outside the arc. Quickley should make it rain in the Queen City tonight, so we’re loving the value we’re getting with plus odds here.

Raptors president Masai Ujiri and head coach Darko Rajaković have made it abundantly clear that Barnes is the face of the Raptors (and in their eyes, the future face of the NBA). Thus, Toronto’s recent roster retooling was basically an exercise in building around its superstar in the making. Barnes has the keys to this squad’s offense — he’s the main catalyst at all times now.

Moving forward, don’t expect Barnes to put up a ton of big rebounding numbers like he did earlier in the season. His primary function, especially now that Jakob Poeltl has returned to 100 percent since coming back from in jury in December, is to score and create for others. Whereas the 2022 Rookie of the Year would often max out at 8-10 shots earlier in the campaign, he now regularly takes 12-24 shots depending on game script.

Over the 18 games since the Raptors dealt away O.G. Anunoby and Precious Achiuwa, Barnes has exceeded 20 points nine times. Across the 10 games since Toronto traded Pascal Siakam to Indy, Barnes has averaged 6.5 assists per game.

So, naturally, we like the young stud’s chances of hitting 27 points + rebounds against the abysmal defense of the Hornets. Charlotte allows the sixth-most points per game and the fourth-most assists per game. Fire Barnesy up this evening. 

Miller has started to hit his stride as of late, having just been named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month. And with LaMelo Ball nursing a nagging right ankle injury, second-year big Mark Williams remaining out with lower back issues, and Miles Bridges the subject of trade rumors, we have every reason to believe Miller will stay hot.

He’s coming off scoring totals of 35 and 32 points, and Toronto’s perimeter defense has been pretty inconsistent all season. Smash the OVER as we continue to see what MJ saw in Brandon Jordan Miller. 

Richards has done an admirable job filling in for second-year Hornets big man Mark Williams, and he double-doubled (just barely) the last time Charlotte faced Toronto (10 points, 10 rebounds). However, that was in mid-December when Raptors center Jakob Poeltl had just returned from a lengthy injury and only played 15 minutes. 

With Poeltl back and the Raps playing a more physical brand of interior basketball as of late, we don’t like Richards’ chances of reaching double-digit boards this evening. He has been held to single-digit rebounds in eight of his past 13 games, a fate that we expect for the 26-year-old Jamaican once again this evening.

Another double-double prop we like: Jakob Poeltl double-double: Yes (+185)

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