NBA Picks and Predictions: New Orleans Pelicans at Indiana Pacers
Betting Odds courtesy of Bovada
The Indiana Pacers are 25-6 on the season but lost 95-82 to the Toronto Raptors on Wed night.Still, Indy has the best record in the Eastern Conference and is 15-1 at home, where it will find itself 11.5-point favorites according to NBA oddsmakers at Bovada, over a visiting New Orleans Pelicans team.
The Pacers are arguably the best defensive team in the league and hold its opponents to just 89.2 points per game, while the offense generates 98.1 points per game. The team is led by Paul George, who is rapidly evolving into one of the game’s best perimeter players. The reigning Most Improved Player is averaging 23.5 points per game and posting a PER of 23.0.
Lance Stephenson has emerged as a poor man’s Wade and has two triple doubles on the season, while averaging 13.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. Roy Hibbert has had consistency issues but anchors the defense well and blocks 2.7 shots per game.
The Pelicans have a good assortment of young talent but it has struggled to find chemistry and cohesion with that talent. Ryan Anderson is a very good stretch-4 and leads the team in scoring with 19.8 points per game. Anthony Davis may eventually be an elite big man, but is still a work in progress and he’s currently injured.
Eric Gordon may never resume his brilliance from L.A. pre-injury, but he and Tyreke Evans are both talented scorers who are capable of doing a lot more. Austin Rivers is looking like a bust, but it may be a bit early to apply that moniker yet. The team reasonably has the talent with Jrue Holiday leading the way to contend for an 8th seed, and it is doing just that, but the Pelicans’ ultimate upside lies in the development of Davis.
NOH Trends: 3-0-1 ATS in last 4 Saturday games; UNDER 15-3-1 in last 19 vs teams with winning SU records; 1-4-1 ATS in last 6 road games vs teams with home winning pcts above .600.
IND Trends: 4-0 ATS in last 4 vs teams with losing SU records; 6-0 ATS in last 6 games following an SU loss of more than 10 points; 5-0 ATS in last 5 at home vs teams with road winning percentages below .400.
Head-to-head: Pelicans 0-4 ATS in last 4 meetings; Pelicans 5-2 ATS in last 7 in Indiana; UNDER 22-10-1 in last 33 meetings.