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NBA Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: 2 Best Bets for Pelicans vs. Spurs (Sunday, December 12)

NBA Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: 2 Best Bets for Pelicans vs. Spurs (Sunday, December 12) article feature image
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Adam Pantozzi/Getty Images. Pictured: Dejounte Murray

  • Two of our NBA betting analysts have pinpointed two picks for bettors on Sunday night.
  • Check out their picks and breakdowns below for Pelicans vs. Spurs.

With a six-game NBA slate on Sunday, our team of NBA betting analysts has targeted one game for their two best bets.

Brandon Anderson has his eyes on the Pelicans vs. Spurs spread while Matt Moore is targeting the total in the same game.

Check out their analysis and best bets below.

NBA Odds & Picks

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New Orleans Pelicans vs. San Antonio Spurs
7 p.m. ET
New Orleans Pelicans vs. San Antonio Spurs
7 p.m. ET

New Orleans Pelicans vs. San Antonio Spurs

Pick
Spurs -2.5
Book
DraftKings
Tipoff
7 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Brandon Anderson: This sure feels like an irrelevant game. The West looks split into three pretty easily defined tiers. The Warriors, Suns, and Jazz are at the top, far ahead of the pack. Then there’s eight teams all jumbled up from the 4-seed to the 11-seed that we have no idea what to make of. And then down at the bottom it’s four teams: the Thunder, the Rockets, and these two teams.

The Spurs are 9-15. The Pelicans are 8-20. They’re two of only six teams in the NBA that have yet to crack double-digit wins, and the other four teams were the four everyone knew would be worst in the NBA. It’s an ugly group to be in, and that makes it easy to assume both of these teams are equally ugly.

But the Pelicans win this ugly fight in a landslide. They’re in far worse shape than the Spurs. New Orleans ranks bottom-six in the NBA in both Offensive and Defensive Rating, per Basketball Reference. They get terrible shots and allow opponents any shot they want. And they’re dreadfully boring with no Zion Williamson or, now, Kira Lewis.

The Spurs may be a bit boring too, but they’re much closer to mediocre than terrible like the Pels. San Antonio actually ranks 15th in Net Rating at Basketball Reference. That’s technically just barely above average, in part because the Spurs are near top 10 on defense.

Ever heard of Gregg Popovich? This is kind of what he does. The Spurs may be 9-15, but the underlying metrics rate them close to a 12-12 team. That means San Antonio probably belongs in that morass tier in the middle, and that they’re far better than New Orleans.

I think we’re getting a discount on this line since these teams are only one win apart in the standings, but they’re much further apart in reality. I love getting the Spurs as a one-score favorite but will play to -4 as needed.


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New Orleans Pelicans vs. San Antonio Spurs

Pick
Over 219
Book
DraftKings
Tipoff
7 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Matt Moore: The Pelicans and Spurs have corrected their offensive performances recently. New Orleans is fifth in Offensive Rating in non-garbage-time the past two weeks, and the Spurs are 11th, according to Cleaning The Glass.

The Pelicans give up a top-five conversion rate at the rim, and the Spurs’ at-rim numbers are diminished by the absence of Jakob Poeltl for several games this season. San Antonio leads the league in points in the paint.

Meanwhile, San Antonio plays at the third-fastest pace in terms of seconds per offensive possession, according to DunksAndThrees.com.

The Pelicans are getting better offensive production from Devonte’ Graham, and Jonas Valanciunas has been on fire.

I have this number at 222.7, giving us enough cushion to play it.

Be aware, this is a contrarian play; 79% of the tickets and 92% of the money as of this writing are on the under. However, despite that, the line has moved up 2.5 points from open. I still think it’s too low. Let’s go for the over.


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