The Denver Nuggets visit the New Orleans Pelicans in a Western Conference clash. The Nuggets are coming off a close home loss to the Thunder, while the Pelicans have lost four in a row, with the latest being to the Heat on the road. This should be an interesting matchup for the Western Conference playoff seeding. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Denver Nuggets vs. New Orleans Pelicans Betting Odds
The Denver Nuggets are 1-point road favorites against the New Orleans Pelicans and are at -115 on the money line. The over/under is also at 230. The Nuggets being favored here makes sense because they’ve been the better team overall, but both teams are missing some key players. The over/under also makes sense because each team is very good on the offensive end of the court. This spread could move a bit because it’s so small right now.
Denver Nuggets vs. New Orleans Pelicans Prediction
The pick: Denver Nuggets -1
Denver comes into this game dealing with a few different injuries, mainly with Nikola Jokic being questionable to play. He’s their do-it-all center who leads the Nuggets in scoring, rebounding, assists, and steals per game for this season. Jamal Murray is up next in scoring production and will have an even brighter spotlight on him if Jokic isn’t able to go. Aaron Gordon is also in line to be very productive in this game due to the injuries, and he also leads the team in blocks per game for the season too. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope should also help too if Bones Hyland isn’t able to play either.
As a team, the Nuggets are one of the best offensive teams in the NBA. They are 5th in scoring at 117 points, first in field goal percentage at 51%, and 4th in point differential at +4.3.
On the other side, the New Orleans Pelicans have also been very good this year, but are dealing with injuries. CJ McCollum is going to be the leading player for the Pelicans this year. With Zion injured, McCollum leads in scoring and assists per game. Jonas Valanciunas should also step up down low because he leads the team in rebounding. Also look for Trey Murphy III to step up too on the wing.
As a team, the Pelicans excel more on offense than defense. They’re top-10 in scoring, top-10 in field goal percentage, top-10 in point differential, and they’re top-10 in rebounding too.
This should be a close game based on the different injuries each team is dealing with. The Nuggets are the better team to deal with the injuries and even though it’s on the road you can trust them more than New Orleans.
Nuggets are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Pelicans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Can Jonas Valanciunas matchup with Nikola Jokic? Can Jamal Murray matchup with CJ McCollum?
Nikola Jokic vs. Jonas Valanciunas
Nikola Jokic is the frontrunner to win the MVP award again. He averages 25 points, 10 assists, and 11 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Jonas Valanciunas most of the game who averages 15 points, 2 assists, and 10 rebounds per game for the season. This is going to be a big matchup in this game because Valanciunas is very good on defense. Jokic is playing like the MVP, so it’ll be interesting to see if anyone can slow him down.
CJ McCollum vs. Jamal Murray
CJ McCollum has been very good for the Pelicans this year. He averages 21 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Jamal Murray most of the game, who averages 19 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds per game for the season. This will be a huge matchup in this game. These two are the engines behind each of their teams and are great on both offense and defense. This matchup will decide who wins the game.
Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup
New Orleans Pelicans Starting Lineups
Denver Nuggets Injuries: C Nikola Jokic (Hamstring) Q, PG Bones Hyland (Finger) Q
New Orleans Pelicans Injuries: PF Zion Williamson (Hamstring) O, SF Brandon Ingram (Toe) Q