Philadelphia 76ers vs New Orleans Pelicans Preview (12/30/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

On Friday night, a non-conference matchup between the Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Pelicans makes up one of the most anticipated games of the weekend slate. Take a look at the analysis for this matchup below, as well as the starting lineups, betting odds, and injury reports for both teams.

Philadelphia 76ers Vs. New Orleans Pelicans Betting Odds

New Orleans is a one-point home favorite against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night. The Pelicans will miss Brandon Ingram, E.J. Liddell, and Larry Nance Jr for this bout with Philly. Herb Jones is questionable as he attempts to get back into shape. Tyrese Maxey is the only player on Philly’s injury report; however, he’s listed as probable for this matchup.

Philadelphia 76ers Vs. New Orleans Pelicans Prediction

Philadelphia, one of the hottest teams in the NBA, will look to get back on track against the New Orleans Pelicans after dropping a game to Washington. The Sixers had won eight straight games before losing to the Wizards and will be in full health on Friday night. The impressive play of Joel Embiid has been largely the cause of their success; he’s catapulted himself right back into the MVP conversation after a relatively slow start to the 2022-23 season.

The major talking point for this game is the return of Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey who has missed a good chunk of the season due to injury. Maxey will likely be eased back in terms of minutes, but his quickness and shooting should immediately improve the offense.

Interestingly enough, New Orleans has a better record without Brandon Ingram (13-6) this season than with (9-6) him, but that is more of a testament to the Pels’ depth than a perceived struggle when he’s on the floor. Regardless, the Pelicans rank sixth in offensive and defensive rating throughout the first chunk of the season; they look like a legitimate title contender.

If Herb Jones plays, I like the Pelicans in this spot; they are 15-4 at home and will have several capable defenders, including Dyson Daniels, Jose Alvarado, and Jones, to throw at James Harden and Tyrese Maxey. Maxey will more than likely have some rust to shake off in his first game back, too, so I’m not expecting an incredibly efficient performance from him. Philly’s continued rebounding struggles will also be exploited as New Orleans has the highest total rebounding rate over the past three games and the fifth-highest on the season.

Betting Trends

  • Philadelphia is 6-8 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • New Orleans is 11-8 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 38-29 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

Zion Williamson and Joel Embiid, two of the best frontcourt players in the NBA, make up our key matchup of the game. While they won’t guard each other, they will be relied upon heavily for offense, and the player with the better game could lead their team to victory.

Zion Williamson vs. Joel Embiid

Two potential MVP candidates face off in a battle for the interior. Joel Embiid and Zion Williamson rank eighth and first, respectively, in points in the paint per game. Still, Embiid has an advantage in this matchup for a simple reason: his defense. Embiid averages just shy of three “stocks” (steals and blocks) per game, while Zion averages fewer than two. Additionally, Embiid boasts a defensive rating of 105.7, which is nearly five points lower (better) than Zion. Williamson will score a lot, but Embiid will make it tough on him at the rim. Advantage: Embiid.

Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup

PG: Tyrese Maxey
SG: James Harden
SF: Tobias Harris
PF: P.J. Tucker
C: Joel Embiid

New Orleans Pelicans Starting Lineups

PG: C.J. McCollum
SG: Herb Jones
SF: Trey Murphy III
PF: Zion Williamsonr
C: Jonas Valanciunas

Key Injuries

Philadelphia 76ers Injuries: Tyrese Maxey (P)

New Orleans Pelicans Injuries: E.J. Liddell (Out), Brandon Ingram (Out), Herb Jones (Q), Larry Nance Jr (Out)

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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