The New Orleans Pelicans and Brooklyn Nets will be facing off for the first time this season on Wednesday night. With that said, it’s time to continue our NBA odds series and make a Pelicans-Nets prediction and pick.
The Pelicans are sitting just outside of the play-in tournament for the playoffs in the eleventh seed in the Western Conference with a record of 22-28.
The Nets have won seven of their last ten games as they sit in the second spot of the Eastern Conference with a record of 35-16. Their record is tied with the first place Philadelphia 76ers who currently have the tiebreaker.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Pelicans-Nets odds.
NBA Odds: Pelicans-Nets Odds
New Orlean Pelicans +9 (-107)
Brooklyn Nets -9 (-113)
Over 233 Points (-115)
Under 233 Points(-105)
Why The Pelicans Could Cover The Spread
The Pelicans have been dealing with some injuries as of late to some of their stars. However, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Zion Williamson are all set to suit up and play on Wednesday against the Nets.
This New Orleans team currently holds the eighth-best offensive rating in the NBA and much of that is due to their talented young core, in particular Ball, Ingram, and Williamson.
Lonzo has become a much better shooter from the field this season putting up 14.5 points per game while shooting nearly 40 percent from the field and most importantly behind the three-point line.
Ingram continues to perform at a high level as he did last season. So far he’s averaging 23.8 points, 4.7 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game with incredible efficiency from the field. He has particularly improved in the mid-range area and from the three-point line.
Zion, in just his second season, has been beyond impressive putting in work in the paint to become the leading scorer for the Pelicans at 26.5 points per game while shooting 60 percent from the field.
Coach Stan Van Gundy has also gotten great offensive and defensive production from key role players like Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Kira Lewis Jr. Unfortunately, all nursing injuries right now of some form or fashion.
One of the keys for the Pelicans to cover the spread against the Nets will be to somehow fill in the missing offensive production from these presumed missing role players. The other key, which has been an issue for this New Orleans team, is to bring some intensity on the defensive end of the floor where they currently hold the third-worst defensive rating in the league.
Why The Nets Could Cover The Spread
Coach Steve Nash has also been having to navigate through injuries with the stars on his roster but the depth of this Brooklyn team makes his job less difficult.
After the addition of Harden, the Nets jumped to the number one offensive rating spot in the NBA. The “Big Three” for the Nets are all experienced scorers and have proven the ability to be an offensive threat from anywhere on the court.
Kevin Durant will be making his return tonight and for the season he’s averaging 29.0 points, 5.3 assists, and 7.3 rebounds per game. He’s also shooting above 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from the three-point line.
The second-highest scorer on the team is Kyrie Irving who is putting up 28.0 points, 6.2 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting above 50 percent from the field and nearly 40 percent from three-point range.
The final piece to the Nets superstar part of the roster is James Harden, who will be out tonight with a hamstring injury.
In addition to the Nets’ big three, the team also has LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, and Joe Harris who give the team more edge on both ends of the floor.
Ultimately, the key for the Nets will be to take advantage of the Pelicans’ poor defense. With so many offensive threats on the team, the Pelicans will struggle with their defensive coverage which was on display against the Hawks on Tuesday where they gave up eleven threes in just the third quarter alone.
Final Pelicans-Nets Prediction & Pick
The Pelicans and the Nets are very similar in the sense that they are very good offensive teams but also very terrible defensive teams. The difference is that the Nets have a more experience and star power in Durant and Irving that have proven their ability to score. The recent additions of Aldridge and Griffin have also added more offensive weapons to this already talented Brooklyn Nets team. For those reasons, the Nets should easily cover the spread and pick up the win to regain the first seed in the Eastern Conference as the Pelicans drop another game and inch further away from the play-in tournament in the western conference.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION & PICK FOR PELICANS-NETS: NOP 116, BKN 128 (BKN -9)