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Pelicans vs. Knicks NBA Odds & Picks: Will New York Cover Nine Straight? (Sunday, April 18)

Pelicans vs. Knicks NBA Odds & Picks: Will New York Cover Nine Straight? (Sunday, April 18) article feature image

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Julius Randle.

  • The Knicks are finally rolling, especially on the back of Julis Randle who is averaging 36.7 points his last three games.
  • New Orleans was supposed to be a playoff team this year, but finds itself on the outside looking in as the season hits the homestretch.
  • See why Matt Trebby likes New York to get even closer to the East's four seed.

Pelicans vs. Knicks Odds

Pelicans Odds+2.5
Knicks Odds-2.5
Moneyline-110 / -110
TimeSunday, 1 p.m. ET
Odds as of Saturday and via PointsBet

The New Orleans Pelicans were supposed to be the team taking a step toward the playoffs this season while the New York Knicks rebuilt.

But here we are in mid-April, the Knicks with aspirations of home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, and the Pelicans are struggling to score with a pair of All-Star forwards on the roster.

These teams met in New Orleans on Wednesday, and the Knicks cruised to a 10-point win and cover while the score went over the 219.5 total. Let’s dig in to see if anything will be different this time around.

New Orleans Pelicans

There’s no getting around this being a disappointing season for the Pelicans. The expectation surrounding Stan Van Gundy’s hiring was that New Orleans would be pushing for a playoff berth with 2020 All-Star Brandon Ingram healthy alongside Zion Williamson. That has not been the case.

The Pelicans aren’t heading down the stretch playing very well either. New Orleans is 4-6 in its last 10 games, and its -4.8 Net Rating ranks 24th in the NBA in that span, according to NBA Advanced Stats.

New Orleans’ offense has been the biggest issue during that recent stretch of games. The Pels’ Offensive Rating in that span is 105.7, ranking 26th in the NBA.

Especially now without J.J. Redick, the Pelicans’ lack of perimeter presence is glaring. Over its last 10 games, only 31.6% of New Orleans’ shots have come from 3-point range, which is the fourth-fewest in the NBA during that span. That’s good for just 30.8 attempts per game from deep while shooting 34.9%.

Inside the arc is a different story. Ingram and Williamson thrive in that range, which is clear from the Pelicans’ 55.1% shooting mark from 2-point range this season. That number, though, is down to 52% over their last 10.

All of these offensive issues going into a matchup against one of the NBA’s premier defenses is simply bad news for the Pelicans.

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New York Knicks

The Knicks own a 105.5 Defensive Rating over their last 10 games as well as a pretty impressive 113.3 Offensive Rating. Put that together, and you get the NBA’s third-best Net Rating in that span, which makes the Knicks unlucky to only be 6-4 in their last 10.

Winning five straight isn’t too bad, though, and neither is covering eight in a row.

New York’s trend of going over the total in four of their last five games is a bit surprising given its slow pace, although the Knicks have had a number more than 216.5 just once in that stretch.

New York is 16-10-1 against the spread at home this season and 35-21-1 overall. It started out the season as a surprise package, becoming an under bettor’s dream. Books have started showing their totals more respect as the season has progressed, though.

Julius Randle has been thriving all season, but he’s been producing at an elite level over his last three games. In wins over the Lakers, Pelicans and Mavericks, Randle is shooting 51.3% on 26 attempts per game and is at 52% on 8.3 3-point attempts per game. He’s averaging 36.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists over his last three.

Pelicans-Knicks Pick

As talented as the Pelicans are, there’s no reason here to go against the Knicks. They’re playing extremely well at the moment and deserve to be better than 6-4 over their last 10 games.

I expect New York’s defense to smother New Orleans’ struggling offense, especially without any strong perimeter presence. Williamson might have a big game, and Ingram could reach a solid point total, but that’s all the Pelicans have right now.

We’ll back the Knickerbockers, who entered play on Saturday just half a game behind the fourth-seed Hawks. It’s happening, people.

Pick: Knicks -2.5

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