Spurs vs. Pelicans Odds & Pick (Sunday, August 9): Bet on a Barrage of Buckets
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Zion Williamson
- Troy Haliburton breaks down betting odds and offers his predictions and picks for Saturday's NBA matchup between the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans.
- Read on for his comprehensive analysis, including why he's confidently betting on the Spurs and Pelicans to go over the game total in another high-scoring bubble affair.
Spurs vs. Pelicans Betting Odds
|Spurs odds||+3 [BET NOW]|
|Pelicans odds||-3 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-148/+126 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||239 [BET NOW]|
|Time||3 p.m. ET|
The San Antonio Spurs are just a half game above the New Orleans Pelicans for 10th place in the Western Conference as both teams are jockeying for position in what is turning out to be a competitive race for a potential play-in game for the eighth seed.
The Spurs are trying to make the playoffs for an NBA record 23rd-straight season and improved their record in the seeding games to 3-2 behind a 24-point performance from guard Derrick White.
New Orleans took advantage of a matchup against the lowly Wizards even without the services of its No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson, who sat out in what appears to be a load management situation on the second night of a back-to-back. Williamson has been heavily protected by the Pelicans’ medical and coaching staffs, as they try to ease him into full usage by limiting the amount of minutes that he plays in games.
The Spurs beat the Pelicans in their only other meeting this season back in January as Zion Williamson made his NBA debut. If the Spurs were to win this game it would heavily decrease the Pelicans’ slim chances of making the postseason. For all intents and purposes, this is a “loser goes home” type of game because the opportunities to catch up a multiple-game lead in the standings is dwindling.
The Pelicans are favored by three points based on the assumption that Zion Williamson will be returning to action and the point total of 239.5 is currently the highest over/under of all the NBA games slated for Sunday.
San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio has drastically changed its style of play since it arrived in Orlando and a lot of that has been out of necessity based on the fact that former All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge did not joint the team for the restart due to a surgery on his right shoulder. Aldridge’s absence has forced the Spurs’ hand into downsizing a lot of their lineups, which in turn has been a blessing in disguise because it has allowed them to open up more playing time for their bevy of young guards.
Derrick White, Dejounte Murray and Lonnie Walker IV are showing immense signs of growth in Orlando after each player missed a portion of the regular season due to injuries. Derrick White has emerged from coming off the bench during the regular season to being moved into the starting lineup and averaging 21 points, five assists and five rebounds per game, while shooting a 45% clip from 3-point range in the bubble.
The trio of young wings gives the Spurs good length on the defensive end and a combination of shooting and ball-handling on the offensive end. The reason why the Spurs’ small lineup has been able to have some success is the sacrifice that has been made by DeMar DeRozan, who is essentially playing a power forward role with the team by utilizing his post-up game. DeRozan has always shown the ability to score out of the post, but recently he shown he can be a great passer out of the post and help create shots for his teammates. The former Toronto Raptor All-Star is averaging 7.3 assists in the NBA’s restart, which would be a career high for him.
New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans has been mostly a disappointment in its seeding games after coming into Orlando with high expectations of making the postseason. The Pelicans were favorites according to fivethiryeight.com of making the postseason as the eighth seed and now find themselves as the 11th seed and falling fast in the standings. The problem with New Orleans’ play in the bubble has been its inability to stop anyone. The Pelicans are ranked in the bottom ten of all teams in terms of defensive efficiency, allowing 109 points per 100 possessions.
While the Pelicans have struggled to stay disciplined on the defensive end, they are beginning to blossom on the offensive end due to their versatility and the emergence of forward Brandon Ingram. The first-time All-Star has shown the ability to score the basketball on all three levels by improving his 3-point percentage up to 38% and also increasing the propensity in which he goes to the free-throw line by attempting six foul shots a game.
The ability to attack the rim and draw contact, while being an outside shot has made Ingram a dangerous offensive threat. New Orleans does a great job of allowing Ingram to create on the offensive end and has assembled a good bevy of shooters around him to compliment his style of play.
The predicted lineup of Derrick Favors, Zion Williamson, Jrue Holiday, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, with veteran sharp shooter, J.J. Reddick is a potent offensive group that will be able to have its way with an undersized San Antonio group.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The Spurs and Pelicans both rank as two of the worst defenses remaining in the bubble, giving up 109 and 112 points per 100 possessions, respectively.
The Spurs hit the over on their point total 67% of the time this season for a record of 42-25-1, while the Pelicans were 37-32 going over the point total on the season. These are two teams who like scoring a lot of points and are not very interested in stopping opponents from scoring a lot of points with them. I feel confident betting the over on the point total of 239.5 and would even go up to 242.
Pick: Over 240 (would bet up to 242) [Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]