The final game of NBA Sunday’s four-game schedule will feature the slumping New Orleans Pelicans (26-23) taking on the mighty Milwaukee Bucks (32-17). Read another story of our NBA odds series and see what we have in store for the Pelicans-Bucks prediction and pick.
The Pelicans have welcomed back Brandon Ingram in action, though playing only limited minutes. The Pels had a surprising rise in the Western Conference ladder but have found themselves in a chokehold, acquiring seven losses in a row.
The Bucks continue to make a push for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, currently sitting in third place with a three-game win streak earned against the Pistons, Nuggets, and Pacers. Sixth Man of the Year candidate Bobby Portis is currently sidelined for his knee and ankle injury, but Milwaukee is managing okay without him so far.
Here are the Pelicans-Bucks NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Pelicans-Bucks Odds
New Orleans Pelicans: +9.5 (-112)
Milwaukee Bucks: -9.5 (-108)
Over: 233.5 (-110)
Under: 233.5 (-110)
How To Watch Pelicans vs. Bucks
TV: Bally Sports Wisconsin, Bally Sports New Orleans
Stream: NBA League Pass
Time: 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Pelicans Could Cover The Spread
Willie Green’s squad currently sits at a 26-23 record, good for second in the Southwest Division and fourth in the Western Conference. The team posts a 47.8% field goal shooting rate, 35.8% 3-point percentage, and 77.8% free-throw percentage. The team is second in the league in steals (8.5) while also grabbing the eighth and ninth spots for rebounds (44.4) and assists (25.9) per game.
The Pels enter this ball game with Dyson Daniels, Zion Williamson, and EJ Liddell still out with injuries. Williamson, the No. 1 pick of the 2019 NBA draft, was recently picked as a Western Conference All-Star starter, posting averages of 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.1 steals, and 60.8% shooting. However, his injury has really hurt the Pelicans, as evidenced by their losing streak.
Still struggling with roster depletion, New Orleans has had to go deep on the depth chart to supply the missing production from Williamson, as well as Ingram when he was also out for months. CJ McCollum has been the major beneficiary of offensive production for the Pels, posting 21.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game for the season. For the month of January, he has been producing north of 20 points in almost every game. Ingram, who just returned to the lineup after spending a lot of time away with his toe injury, has been receiving limited minutes as he gradually works his way to up his production this season of 20.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game.
The keys for the Pelicans here is careful shot selection, making buckets near the rim, fishing for fouls, and making defensive assignments for their bench. Jose Alvarado is the team’s spark off the bench, putting up 9.4 points, 3.1 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. With Alvarado leading the second unit, Devonte’ Graham, Naji Marshall, Larry Nance Jr., and Willy Hernangomez should also contribute.
Why The Bucks Could Cover The Spread
The Milwaukee Bucks enter this matchup with a three-game winning stretch, getting wins against the Pistons, Nuggets, and Pacers. They also have seven wins in their last 10 games and 10 wins in their last 15. They now have 32 wins in 49 games played, good for first in the Central Division and third in the Eastern Conference, trailing closely behind the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.
Injury issues have been plaguing Mike Budenholzer’s squad this season, with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Bobby Portis, Serge Ibaka, and MarJon Beauchamp going in and out of the lineup. For this matchup, Portis and Ibaka will remain out, while Antetokounmpo and Beauchamp are probable.
Despite this barricade in the squad’s success, the Bucks are still thriving thanks to their two-way performances. Khris Middleton is going back to his usual self, recently posting 17 points, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals in the team’s 141-131 win against the Pacers. Jrue Holiday has been making waves as a potential All-Star, putting up nightly performances of 19.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 47% shooting off the field. Brook Lopez is also making a case for a potential Defensive Player of the Year candidacy, producing 14.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 2.5 blocks per game for the Bucks.
With the way the Bucks play, they should continue on their two-way play and productive bench scoring. Middleton’s relegation to the bench to gradually amp up his way to the starting position has turned out well, while Pat Connaughton and Grayson Allen’s deployment in the starting roles have also been beneficial for the Bucks. Jevon Carter and Joe Ingles also contribute off the bench, so the Bucks should keep steady in these rotations.
Final Pelicans-Bucks Prediction & Pick
Until Zion comes back and Ingram becomes his old self, the Pelicans are likely going to struggle. Expect Giannis to suit up for the Bucks for what seems to be another home win at Fiserv Forum.
Final Pelicans-Bucks Prediction & Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -9.5 (-108)