The Brooklyn Nets (25-13) visit the New Orleans Pelicans (24-14) on Friday night. Action tips off at 7:40 pm ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Nets-Pelicans prediction and pick.

Brooklyn most recently had a 12-game win streak snapped but has propelled itself up to third place in the Eastern Conference. The Nets have covered 51% of their games while 55% have gone under the projected point total. New Orleans has lost two of their last three games but still sits in third place in the Western Conference. The Pelicans have covered 53% of their game while 58% have gone over. This will be the second and final meeting between the two teams. New Orleans blew out the Nets in Brooklyn back in October 130-108.

Here are the Nets-Pelicans NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel

NBA Odds: Nets-Pelicans Odds

Brooklyn Nets: -4.5 (-110)

New Orleans Pelicans: +4.5 (-110)

Over: 231 (-110)

Under: 231 (-110)

How To Watch Nets vs. Pelicans


Stream: NBA League Pass

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET/ 4:30 p.m. PT

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Why The Nets Could Cover The Spread

Although Brooklyn’s win streak was snapped by Chicago this week, they remain one of the hottest teams in the league. They’ve lost just three games since Thanksgiving, going 16-3 over that span. They’ve averaged 118.8 PPG and shot an astronomical 54% over their last 19 games. However, it has been the Brooklyn defense that has been most impressive. Over their last 19 games, the Nets have allowed the second-fewest points in the league (111.1 PPG) while also averaging the second-most blocks (6.2 BPG).

Center Nic Claxton has been the key to their improved defense. The former second-round pick is having the best season of his career, averaging 11.9 PPG and 8.2 RPG. He leads the league with a 73% field goal percentage and ranks second in blocks (2.5 BPG). The 6’11” center has been a force during Brooklyn’s post-Thanksgiving hot streak. He’s averaging 3.1 blocks per game during that span and has collected four games with at least five blocks. Claxton was a surprising sight on the first All-Star ballot and will likely play a major role in the Nets’ ability to cover tonight.

For as good as Claxton has been, the Nets owe star Kevin Durant all the credit in the world for their recent success. KD has already put together an illustrious career but is having arguably his best season yet this year. Durant averages 29.9 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 5.5 APG. He’s been a force on defense as well, as he continues to be an underrated rim protector with 1.5 blocks per game. The most impressive part of KD’s season has been his efficiency. He is shooting a career-high 57% from the floor despite having a chance at just his third 30-PPG season. While Durant was solid in the opener against New Orleans, he’ll likely be in for an even bigger night given his recent play. Coming off a 44-point outing against Chicago, look for KD to be involved early and often.

Why The Pelicans Could Cover The Spread

New Orleans finds itself in a tricky situation as they attempt to cover a hefty spread as home underdogs. On the one hand, the Pelicans have been one of the best teams in basketball thus far. They have the seventh-best record in the league and have been an all-around force. The Pelicans rank fourth in scoring (117.5 PG), fourth in rebound differential (+3.5 RPG), and are in the top half of the league in points allowed (112.8 PPG). That being said, they’ve lost two of their last three games. While they’ve stayed the course with Brandon Ingram injured, they’ve now lost Zion Williamson to injury as well. That being said, the Pelicans bounced back in their first full game without Zion and still have a chance to cover tonight.

If the Pelicans are going to cover without Zion and BI, they’ll need guard CJ McCollum to continue his strong play. CJ has been tremendous this season. While he isn’t having an incredible statistical year by his standards, the veteran’s versatility has been very impressive. He floats between the primary and tertiary options on a night-to-night basis while being the leader of the team. For the season, CJ averaged 20.2 PPG and 6.0 APG while shooting 42% from the floor. He’s stepped up with Zion injured, scoring 26 and 28 points in their last two games. Between CJ, Trey Murphy (12.7 PPG and 42% from three), and Jonas Valanciunas (13.5 PPG and 9.6 RPG), the Pelicans have a number of skilled players even with Zion injured.

Final Nets-Pelicans Prediction & Pick

In their first game against a playoff-caliber team without Zion, I expect New Orleans to have some growing pains. Brooklyn’s is playing like the best team in the NBA right now and expect them to continue that tonight.

Final Nets-Pelicans Prediction & Pick: Brooklyn Nets -4.5 (-110)