Pelicans-76ers Betting Preview: A Case for the Over/Under

Pelicans-76ers Betting Preview: A Case for the Over/Under article feature image

Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jimmy Butler

New Orleans Pelicans at Philadelphia 76ers Betting Odds

  • Spread: 76ers -4
  • Over/Under: 235.5
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET

>> All odds as of 11 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets

The Philadelphia 76ers lost their first game with Jimmy Butler, but have since won three straight and now sit at 12-7. Can they keep things rolling against Anthony Davis and Co. tonight?

And more importantly, is there any value on tonight’s spread or over/under? Our analysts discuss.

Locky: Why I Like the Under Tonight

I think it’s likely that recent results have skewed this total into a range that is a little too high. The Pelicans are coming off a win over the Spurs that went over by more than 40 points — their third straight over to hit by double digits.

The Sixers have also gone over in three straight, including their last game against Phoenix. It’s tough to imagine that with those recent results and a total of 235, there’s still value left on that side.

It’s even tougher to figure there’s value on the over considering that the Sixers haven’t even really been that efficient offensively since acquiring Jimmy Butler, with a couple of lackluster efforts against Orlando and Utah and a very inefficient performance in a win over Charlotte (Offensive Rating of just 101.7, per Cleaning the Glass).

The most recent win over Phoenix was high scoring for two primary reasons: Philadelphia out-rebounded Phoenix by more than 20 and shot a lot of free throws. Those factors created the extra opportunities that caused the game to be high scoring and are unlikely to be repeated to that degree since the Pelicans are in the top half of the league in offensive rebounds allowed and free-throw rate on defense.

As Butler plays more and more with his new teammates, you would expect future games to feature a better defensive efficiency than what the Sixers have shown as well, meaning these past efforts are probably a little less predictive with all the change the team has gone through. I would side with the under at the current numbers. — Ken Barkley

Mears: How Has Jimmy Butler Fit In So Far?

Since the Jimmy Butler trade, the 76ers have been wise to separate the minutes of Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler with those of Markelle Fultz, who is now out for a week or so while he sees a specialist for his ongoing shoulder issues.

The most common foursome with Butler is Simmons, J.J. Redick, Wilson Chandler and Joel Embiid. The other most-used lineups include either Redick or rookie Landry Shamet; those are clearly the 76ers’ only good, volume outside shooters.

And early returns are positive: In 84 minutes with the lineup listed above, the 76ers have outscored opponents by 28.6 points per 100 possessions, posting a stellar 126.2 Offensive Rating and an awesome 97.6 Defensive Rating.

It’s a small sample, but that’s the way to play the Big 3 — completely sell out to surrounding them with shooters. That fivesome isn’t taking a whole lot of 3s at the moment (21.8% three-point rate), but they are nailing 47.1% of them, and more importantly, the spacing is allowing them to attack the rim at will. They are shooting at the rim on a stupid-high 47.4% of their possessions.

We’ll see if those numbers regress, but they at least have the right strategy. The 76ers will be looking for shooters in the trade or buy-out markets, but until then they’ll continue to really rely on Redick and Shamet. Any injuries or poor play from those guys would be very damaging. — Bryan Mears

Betting Trends to Know

New Orleans is averaging 119.5 points per game (second), and Philadelphia is scoring 113.2 points per game (10th). This game should be a shootout, right? Since 2005, when two teams averaging 110 or more points per game meet, the under has gone 77-59-3 (57%). — John Ewing

Did You Know? The Pelicans are the fourth team since 2005 to score 125 points or more in three consecutive games and be listed as an underdog in their next game.

The Clippers won in this spot on the road last season, while the Nuggets were in this spot in 2017 and 2011 against the Spurs and lost and failed to cover the spread.

The Pelicans have won three straight games and six of their last seven overall. In their last win at home against the Spurs, New Orleans shot an efficient 57.8% from the field, its second-best shooting performance of the season.

The Pelicans now head on the road after their stellar performance against San Antonio. Since 2005, teams to shoot over 55% from the field on the road and play at home in their next game are 166-203-6 ATS (45%), covering the spread just 44.1% of the time over the last five years. — Evan Abrams

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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