Hornets’ Gordon Hayward (hamstring) doubtful against Bucks

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Hornets Gordon Hayward (hamstring) doubtful against Bucks

Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward (left hamstring soreness) has been downgraded to doubtful for Friday night’s road game versus the Milwaukee Bucks. Kelly Oubre Jr. (left hand surgery) remains out indefinitely as well.

Oubre is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left hand. Entering tonight’s intraconference showdown, Charlotte is on a three-game skid and has lost seven of its last 10 games.

Referring to a couple of NBA betting sites, the Hornets have the fifth-lowest odds to win the championship. However, sportsbooks are giving Milwaukee the second-best odds below the Boston Celtics.

Hayward has missed 18 games so far this season. Through 21 starts, the 13-year veteran is averaging 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.9 assists. He’s also shooting 42.3% from the field and 30% beyond the arc.

On Oct. 21, in the Hornets’ 124-112 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, the wing recorded a season-high 26 points in 38 minutes of action. He finished 12-of-19 (63.2%) shooting from the floor and knocked down one 3-pointer.

Hornets forward Gordon Hayward (left hamstring soreness) is listed as doubtful vs. Bucks on Friday

Thirty-nine games into the 2022-23 season, Charlotte is 10-29 and ranks dead last in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets are tied with the Houston Rockets for the worst record.

Moreover, the Hornets are averaging 111.3 points per game, ranking 25th overall. Their offensive efficiency rating (1.040) ranks 30th. Not to mention, Charlotte is allowing 118.4 points per contest, which ranks 28th.

For the Bucks’ injury report, Khris Middleton (right knee soreness) remains out indefinitely. George Hill (illness), Jrue Holiday (illness), Giannis Antetokounmpo (left knee soreness), Joe Ingles (conditioning), and Marjon Beauchamp (thigh contusion) are all listed as probable.

In the first matchup of the season series on Dec. 22, the Bucks won 105-96 away over Charlotte. Bobby Portis scored a team-high 20 points with Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo was absent for this contest.

Equally important, Charlotte is 7-3 ATS against Milwaukee in its last 10 matchups. Though, the Hornets are 4-9 in their past 13 meetings versus the Bucks. And the team is 3-15 in its previous 18 away games.

To add to the aforementioned betting trends, the Bucks are 8-1 in their last nine home games against Charlotte. They’re also 9-3 in their past 12 matchups versus Southeast Division opponents. Milwaukee is 5-5 in its previous 10 contests, and the team is coming off back-to-back wins.

According to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, Milwaukee has a 71.9% chance of defeating the Hornets at home. Sportsbooks show the Bucks as heavy 10-point favorites.