Two teams trending completely opposite directions will clash on the hardwood Friday night as the New Orleans Pelicans meet up with the San Antonio Spurs in the Alamo City. It is time to check out our NBA odds series where our Pelicans-Spurs prediction and pick will be made.
Sitting comfortably in first place within the Southwest Division and also occupying the third-overall seed in the Western Conference, the Pelicans are looking more formidable as each day passes. With the return of phenom Zion Williamson after the superstar forward has only played in 85 total games over the course of the last two years, New Orleans is finally fully loaded and ready to make some noise in the Big Easy.
The same could not be said for a San Antonio squad that has suffered their way to nine-straight losses. Having last squared off with the Pelicans on Nov. 23rd that resulted in a 129-110 loss, the season is quickly getting out of hand for the Spurs as they compiled a 1-14 record during November which served as their worst month in team history. Nevertheless, San Antonio has truly hit rock bottom and can only go up from here it seems.
Here are the Pelicans-Spurs NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Pelicans-Spurs Odds
New Orleans Pelicans: -7 (-112)
San Antonio Spurs: +7 (-108)
Over: 232 (-110)
Under: 232 (-110)
Why The Pelicans Could Cover The Spread
Five games over the .500 mark for the first time since the 2017-2018 season, the Pelicans are no doubt clicking on all cylinders. One of the biggest reasons that New Orleans is off to such a great start has been the stellar play of multiple players which has provided great balance while out on the floor. Outside of Williamson, the ‘Pels have gotten tremendous contributions from Trey Murphy III and Jonas Valanciunas both combined for 42 points in the 18-point rout of the Raptors. If New Orleans can continue to spread the ball around and make smart decisions with the basketball, then the sky is the limit for what the Pelicans can accomplish later tonight.
In addition, the ‘Pels have proven that they can be an elite three-point shooting team when given the opportunity. On paper, NOLA is connecting on 38% of their shots from beyond the arc which is the fifth-best mark in all of basketball. Not only that, but the Pelicans have been absolutely electric as a whole on the offensive side of the court and are averaging the fourth-most points in the entire league per game. Simply put, against a shaky Spurs defense that is giving up an NBA-worst 121 points per game, New Orleans could be in line for a stat-stuffing night offensively.
Why The Spurs Could Cover The Spread
Inside the beautiful city of San Antonio that calls the Alamo and the River Walk home, few can argue that the Spurs have been the ugliest part of the town in the final couple of months of 2022. Failing to secure a win since a 111-93 victory over the Bucks of all teams coming back on Nov. 11th, there is no question that San Antonio is starved for a return to the win column.
Coming into this divisional matchup as seven-point underdogs, the Spurs need to right the ship in a multitude of areas if they want a chance at covering and ultimately winning. For starters, the Spurs did play one of their better games in recent memory as they led by as much as 20 points at the start of the third quarter over the Thunder, but San Antonio resorted to their old ways but was outscored 31-15 in the final frame to go down in defeat. While the Spurs were close to snapping their dreaded losing skid, they will need to get off to a hot start and also play a complete game, especially in the closing moments if they want to cover.
More specifically, it is a must that San Antonio finds a way to shoot better from beyond the arc. Throughout the entire season, the Spurs have struggled mightily in their three-point shooting and only shot 27% in the loss against OKC. When going up against a bunch like the Pelicans that can catch fire from deep in a hurry, the Spurs have to come up with enough open downtown looks and convert on them to have a chance in this one.
Final Pelicans-Spurs Prediction & Pick
Anything is possible when two sides in the same division compete on the hardwood, but with how bad the Spurs have been playing and with New Orleans balling out of late, this pick is a no-brainer for bettors.
Final Pelicans-Spurs Prediction & Pick: Pelicans -7 (-112)