The New Orleans Pelicans (37-37) visit the Portland Trail Blazers (32-42) on Monday night! Action tips off at 10:10 p.m. ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Pelicans-Blazers prediction, pick, and how to watch.
New Orleans has won four straight to propel them into the eighth seed in the Western Conference. The Pelicans covered 48% of their games while 51% went under the projected point total. Portland has lost eight of their last nine games and dropped to 13th place in the West. The Blazers covered 49% of their games while 50% went over. This will be the fourth and final meeting between the conference foes. New Orleans holds a 2-1 advantage thus far including two double-digit wins this month.
Here are the Pelicans-Blazers NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Pelicans-Blazers Odds
New Orleans Pelicans: -11 (-110)
Portland Trail Blazers: +11 (-110)
Over: 226.5 (-110)
Under: 226.5 (-110)
How To Watch Pelicans vs. Blazers
TV: Bally New Orleans, Root Sports+
Stream: NBA League Pass
Time: 10:00 p.m. ET/ 7:00 p.m. PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Pelicans Could Cover The Spread
New Orleans’ 2022-23 season has been incredibly up and down but the Pelicans do find themselves in the midst of a hot streak. They’ve risen to the eighth spot in the Western Conference largely on the back of an improved defense. New Orleans allowed just 108.3 PPG over their last 10 games – the fourth-best mark in the league over that span. They’ve maintained their solid offense that ranks 15th for the season in scoring. The Pelicans do a good job scoring down low and making extra passes, ranking ninth in both points in the paint and assists. That bodes well for their chances of covering tonight considering the Blazers rank in the bottom 10 in interior defense.
If New Orleans is going to cover as a heavy road favorite, they’re going to need Brandon Ingram to continue his dominant play of late. BI has slowly progressed after missing a good chunk of the season due to injury and is playing his best basketball of the season right now. Across his last five games, Ingram averaged 30.2 PPG on 51% shooting. He’s been stellar as a playmaker and outside shoot as well, averaging 9.0 APG while nailing 2.0 threes per game at a 48% clip. He averaged 27 PPG in two prior matchups with the Blazers and should be able to eclipse that number tonight given his recent play.
The X-factor for the Pelicans tonight is big man Jonas Valanciunas. The burly center has been a quiet workhorse for the Pelicans all season long as he leads the team with 71 games played. While his production has varied, he finds himself playing his best ball of the season as we enter the home stretch. Over his last five games, Valanciunas averaged 19.8 PPG and 15.2 RPG. His ability to dominate the paint will be a critical aspect of any potential New Orleans cover considering their lack of interior defense.
Why The Blazers Could Cover The Spread
Portland has cratered after flirting with the play-in game for the majority of the season as the Blazers have lost eight of their last 10 games. Their biggest issue lies on the offensive end as their 108.8 PPG is the third-lowest mark in the league over that span. They appear to be giving up on the season, resting Damian Lillard as he nurses an injury. That being said, resting the veterans can open up a ton of opportunities for young players who are hungry to prove their worth. Those young bucks are the key to their chances of covering tonight as they are massive, double-digit underdogs despite playing at home.
If Portland is going to cover tonight, rookie Shaedon Sharpe is going to have to continue his hot stretch of late. While the No. 7 overall pick averaged just 21 minutes per game this season, he’s seen a massive spike in both usage and production of late. Across his last three games, Sharpe averaged 25.7 PPG while shooting 52% from the floor. That is directly tied to an increase in minutes, spiking to 37.8 minutes per game. With the season slipping away from them, look for the Blazers to give Sharpe all the work he can handle both tonight and going forward.
The X-factor for the Blazers tonight is wing Nassir Little. A former five-star prospect, Little has never lived up to his potential despite being taken 25th overall in 2019. That being said, he’s bided his time on the bench in Portland and quietly improved his game. Little exploded in yesterday’s loss to the Thunder, scoring 28 points on 52% shooting.
Final Pelicans-Blazers Prediction & Pick
While the Pelicans have been playing better of late, I like Sharpe and the young Blazers to keep things interesting at home.
Final Pelicans-Blazers Prediction & Pick: Portland Trail Blazers +11 (-110)
The post NBA Odds: Pelicans vs. Trail Blazers prediction, pick, how to watch – 3/27/2023 appeared first on ClutchPoints.