Hornets vs. Pelicans Odds & Picks: How to Bet Ball Brothers’ First Pro Matchup (Friday, Jan. 8)
Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Lonzo Ball.
- Lonzo and LaMelo Ball meet for the first time in the NBA on Friday when the New Orleans Pelicans host the Charlotte Hornets.
- Big brother Lonzo and the Pelicans are 6-point favorites in this matchup and are coming off of a pair of frustrating losses.
- NBA betting analyst Roberto Arguello previews Friday's matchup and shares his betting pick below.
Hornets vs. Pelicans Odds
|Hornets Odds||+6 [BET NOW]|
|Pelicans Odds||-6 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+195/-245 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||217 [BET NOW]|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Thursday night and via PointsBet, where you can get $250 FREE instantly after signing up AND your bets automatically sync to the Action app.|
The Charlotte Hornets (3-5) face the New Orleans Pelicans (4-4) Friday night on ESPN in the first matchup between LaMelo and Lonzo Ball in the NBA.
The Hornets will finish off a four-game road trip in New Orleans after losing two games to the Sixers then upsetting the Hawks on Wednesday. Conversely, the Pelicans will wrap up a four-game homestand on Friday after beating the struggling Raptors the losing close games to the Pacers and Thunder.
Despite the recent struggles for the Pelicans, back older brother Lonzo and the Pelicans in the first battle between Ball brothers.
Gordon Hayward signed with the Hornets this offseason because he wanted to be the main option in Charlotte instead of a secondary option in a place like Boston. In his last game against the Hawks, he erupted for a career-high 44 points. Hayward shot 15-of-25 from the field, made four of nine 3s and added 10 points from the charity stripe.
To be competitive against playoff teams, the Hornets will need more efficient performances from Hayward. Hayward excelled in pick-and-roll/pop opportunities against the Hawks as the Hornets targeted Trae Young, and Young had no answers.
The Hornets have two talented young guards in LaMelo Ball and Devonte’ Graham, who can handle the ball and push the pace to set up corner 3s like the ones Hayward feasted on against Atlanta.
To pull the upset on Friday, the Hornets need to shoot efficiently from beyond the arc. Per Cleaning The Glass, the Pelicans rank dead last in the NBA in opponent 3-point percentage, as opponents are making 48.5% of attempts through eight games. Terry Rozier has shot a team-best 44.3% from deep and should get quality looks, as he has been playing relatively more off-ball this season.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans have suffered two frustrating losses in their last two games after blowing a 6-point lead with fewer than 30 seconds against the Pacers and a 3-point lead with 95 seconds to play against the lowly Thunder.
After starting strong defensively under new coach Stan Van Gundy, the Pelicans have taken a step back recently. The Pelicans ranked fourth in defensive efficiency over their first five games, but in their last three, the Pelicans have ranked 19th in defensive efficiency, allowing opponents to score at least 111 points in all three games. In their most recent loss to the Thunder, the Pelicans gave up 27 fast-break points.
When the Pelicans close out their four-game homestand on Friday, they may have to do it without JJ Redick, who is day-to-day after missing practice Thursday with a knee contusion. Redick has shot the ball uncharacteristically poorly from 3, making just 24.3% of his attempts.
The Pelicans as a whole have struggled from beyond the arc, as they rank dead last in the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage, and only Eric Bledsoe (38.5%) and Brandon Ingram (37.0%) have shot above 33% from 3.
Although the Pelicans haven’t shot well from beyond the arc, they are slightly better in offensive efficiency at 22nd in the NBA (106.1) because of their elite rebounding inside with Zion Williamson and Steven Adams leading the way. The Pelicans have the best offensive rebounding percentage in the NBA (30.9) as Williamson and Adams have done a nice job to combine for 6.9 offensive boards per game.
The Pelicans also have the best defensive rebounding percentage in the NBA, as they have gathered 80.3% of opponent misses. The Pelicans have been the best in the league on the boards because of the concerted effort by the entire team as four players (Adams, Josh Hart, Williamson and Ingram) all are averaging at least seven rebounds per game. `
While I like the young nucleus on the Hornets, I don’t like this spot for them against a Pelicans team that should be more motivated than normal given their frustrating losses in their last two games.
With Van Gundy focusing the Pelicans on defense during their day off on Thursday, expect the Pelicans to play better defensively and reflect that they still are a top-five team in defensive efficiency against a Hornets team that ranks 27th in offensive efficiency (103.9).
The Hornets have good players on the perimeter that are only improving, but the Pelicans have quality perimeter defenders with Bledsoe and Lonzo Ball. The Pelicans should take advantage of below-average Hornets rebounding as Charlotte will struggle to match up inside with Williamson and Adams.
Miles Bridges is a quality defender for the Hornets, but he will only be able to cover one of Williamson or Ingram, and I like the chances of the other having a big night.
While I like the value of the Pelicans -6, I prefer the value on the Pelicans first half -3 from PointsBet down to -4.
Pick: Pelicans 1H -3 (down to -4 at -115)