Friday Night NBA Picks: Why We’re Betting The Pelicans To Cover
Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans
- NBA action keeps rolling on Friday night, and our staff is here to break down their favorite picks.
- Find out why one of our analysts like the Pelicans to cover the 7.5-point spread against the Wizards.
NBA action at the Orlando bubble rolls on with six games today, headlined by two national TV games in Magic vs. 76ers and Celtics vs. Raptors.
Where’s the value? Our staff is here to break down their favorite NBA bets for Friday’s slate and has found angles in two games:
- 5 p.m. ET: Sacramento Kings vs. Brooklyn Nets
- 8 p.m. ET: Washington Wizards vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Friday NBA Betting Picks
Troy Haliburton: Kings vs. Nets
|Kings odds||-4.5 [BET NOW]|
|Nets odds||+4.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-195/+163 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||232.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||5 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Earlier this week, the Nets pulled off one of the biggest point-spread upsets in NBA history, covering the +18.5 spread in a 119-116 win over Milwaukee. Then, Brooklyn followed up that performance with a 34-point loss to the Celtics.
Don’t be fooled by the Nets’ one surprising upset over the Bucks, no matter how monumental it was. Brooklyn is still a team without a clear identity, and the Kings present significant matchup problems for this under-talented group.
Sacramento is coming off of its biggest win in the bubble against New Orleans, which brought the Kings within shouting distance of a play-in game in the Western conference.
De’Aaron Fox has gotten off to a hot start in the bubble, averaging 26.7 points per game on shooting 50.5% from the floor. The young point guard has kick-started Sacramento’s offense and pushed tempo dramatically.
Prior to the regular season suspension, the Kings ranked in the bottom-10 of the league in pace of play, averaging 100.9 possessions per game. However, in the Orlando bubble, Sacramento has increased its pace to 105.7 possessions per game.
The Nets have endured marked instability to its active roster during bubble play, which has rendered them somewhat difficult to handicap. Jamal Crawford is listed out with a hamstring injury and the Nets may be without Allen and Harris as well.
No matter who suits up for Brooklyn on Friday evening, the Nets still find themselves at a talent deficit against an up-and-coming Sacramento squad. Look for the Kings to continue their hot play as their continuity builds against Brooklyn’s depleted roster.
Pick: Kings -4.5
Brandon Anderson: Wizards vs. Pelicans
|Wizards odds||+7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Pelicans odds||-7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+245/-305 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||234.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Why are the Washington Wizards here? The Wizards are 20 games below .500. TWENTY!! Their last win in an NBA game was on March 10. They last beat a team that’s still playing ball in the bubble on Feb. 7 (a one-point win against the Mavericks). Before that, unless you want to count Nets, the next previous win over a bubble team was Jan. 6 against the Celtics.
This bubble hasn’t exactly gone according to plan for the Pelicans either. Like the Wizards, they’re dead last in the conference among teams still playing. But they’re also only two games out of the No. 9-seed and 2.5 games out of the No. 8-seed. All is not lost for the Pelicans, and with an extremely winnable slate, they can still do this thing. But it has to start here.
An actual flock of pelicans might defend better than the NBA version at this point, but this is Ish Smith and Thomas Bryant we’re talking about. Washington has lost by eight or more points in every game since the restart and would officially be eliminated from the playoffs with a loss. Time for the Pels to put them out of their misery.
The PICK: Pelicans -7.5