Celtics vs. Pelicans Odds, Preview, Prediction: Both Offenses Should Light Up Scoreboard (November 18)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Jayson Tatum
- The Pelicans host the Celtics tonight in a matchup of two of the hotter teams in the NBA.
- Boston is a short road favorite (-2.5 spread) as its offense continues to light it up behind MVP candidate Jayson Tatum.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Celtics vs. Pelicans Odds
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Boston Celtics and New Orleans Pelicans have won a combined 11 straight games while holding a collective 21-9 record. A majority of those wins have come from the Celtics, who lead the Eastern Conference at 12-3 and have won a league-high eight-straight games, but this should be a great game in New Orleans.
The road Celtics are three-point favorites as they look to win their ninth game in a row. They have been favorites in all 15 games this season as they have covered the spread in in eight of those 15 games. The Pelicans have been underdogs five times and already have three outright wins as an underdog.
There are a few injuries to monitor, but this game should be exciting.
Celtics’ Offense Humming Behind Tatum
Not only are the Celtics the favorites to win the NBA Finals at the moment, but Jayson Tatum is climbing the ranks of the NBA MVP odds. He is third right now behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic. He leads the Celtics in scoring, averaging a career-high 31.1 points per game.
Tatum has increased his scoring in every season since being drafted. His 7.4 rebounds per game also lead the Celtics as they continue to play without one of their best interior players in Robert Williams. Along with Williams, Marcus Smart is questionable while Malcolm Brogdon is probable.
The Celtics have seen their Defensive Rating dip from the league-lead last season to 16th overall this season. They also are allowing 113.3 points per game this season, compared to 104.5 last season. Not having Williams is a big reason why their defensive numbers have plummeted, but if Smart is also out tonight that will really hurt defensively against a guard-heavy Pelicans offense.
Despite the defense struggling, the Celtics’ offense has been electric. They are averaging a league-high 120.4 points per game as nine of their 15 games have gone over the spread. Tatum is scoring with ease, but so is fellow All-Star Jaylen Brown who is averaging a career-high 25.1 points per game this season.
The Pelicans rank eighth in Defensive Rating (110.0), entering tonight’s games, but Tatum and Brown will find ways to light up the scoreboard. After missing four-straight games, the Celtics will likely get Brogdon back tonight. We have yet to see him fully unleashed on the second unit, but Brogdon did average nearly 20 points per game in back-to-back seasons with the Indiana Pacers.
The Celtics have a 115-implied point total, but have scored over that line seven of their last eight games. They may struggle on defense, but not on offense.
Will Williamson Play For Pelicans?
After a mediocre start to the season, the Pelicans have won three-straight games and have two games left in this six-game home stand. The only big injury news the Pelicans have is the status of Zion Williamson. He has played in 11 games this season and leads the team in usage rate with 28.7% per game.
It would be great if Williamson was able to play in this awesome atmosphere tonight, but we’ll see if his foot is healthy enough closer to lock. For what it’s worth, the Pelicans’ Offensive Rating is 121.2 in four games without Williamson this season compared to only 114.9 in 10 games with him. They space the floor better as Williamson continues to struggle finding a perimeter jump shot.
After scoring single digit points in three of his four games earlier this month, CJ McCollum has caught fire. He has scored 26.5 points per game while shooting 48.7% from the field and 47.6% from behind the arc in his last two games. Up until Tuesday, McCollum was shooting just 28% from downtown.
Adding McCollum at the trade deadline last season was such a good move offensively for the Pelicans. He has taken pressure off of Brandon Ingram and the Pelicans’ offense while also averaging a career-high 6.6 props/assists”>assists per game this season.
Ingram is averaging more than 20 points per game for the fourth-straight season with the Pelicans, while he is shooting a career-high 50% from behind the arc. McCollum and Ingram vs. Tatum and Brown is going to be an epic duo battle.
Similar to the Celtics, the Pelicans have gone over the points total in nine of their 15 games this season. They are averaging 116.7 points per game, which ranks fifth in the league. They will also have no trouble scoring the ball tonight.
These two teams may rank in the middle of the pack in terms of pace, but have no problem filling it up. Combined, the Celtics and Pelicans average 237.1 points per game, which is well over this total of 227 points.
Take this over to 229.5. The Pelicans are averaging nearly five more points at home this season compared to on the road. Expect both offenses to continue cooking in this great matchup tonight.
There are no player props available for the Pelicans as of this writing, but one Celtics player prop I love to pair with this game total is Tatum over 4.5 assists. He ranks second in potential assists with 7.9 per game behind only Smart who is questionable with an injury. Regardless if Smart plays or not, Tatum can get over this prop like he has done in six of his last nine games.
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