NBA Odds, Pick, Prediction: Pelicans vs Pacers Betting Preview

NBA Odds, Pick, Prediction: Pelicans vs Pacers Betting Preview article feature image

Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans.

  • The New Orleans Pelicans face the Indiana Pacers on a huge Monday night.
  • The Pels enter the matchup as solid favorite (5.5-point spread) despite being on the road.
  • Joe Dellera details how he sees the two teams matching up and his betting pick below.

Pelicans vs. Pacers Odds

Pelicans Odds-5
Pacers Odds+5
Time7:45 p.m. ET
TVNBA League Pass
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans head to Indiana to take on Tyrese Haliburton and the Pacers in what should be a fast-paced contest between two talented offenses.

Is there an edge in this Monday night contest? Let's take a look at both sides.

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Pelicans Dominating the Paint

The Pelicans were the beneficiaries of the Warriors' end-of-road trip resting of their stars in their last game, but they have been successful in their own right with the seventh-best Adjusted Net Rating (+5.5) lead by the league's sixth-best Adjusted Offensive Rating.

What makes this even more impressive is it's built on a relentless assault on the rim, and while they make their 3s at a high clip, they take the lowest frequency of 3s in the league.

This matchup in the paint will be critical though. The Pelicans score 57.3 points per game in the paint compared to the Pacers' paint defense that allowed just 41.3 points per game in the paint. This is despite allowing looks at the rim at the 20th greatest frequency in the league.

While the metrics look like the Pacers have an edge here, the Pelicans have some of the best finishers in the league and I expect them to maximize on those opportunities.

The Pelicans are relatively healthy for this matchup and should be able to run their traditional starting lineup of McCollum, Ingram, Jones, Williamson, and Valanciuanas. This lineup is elite and has a +20 point differential per 100 possessions while scoring 122.7 points and allowing just 102.7, per Cleaning the Glass.

Additionally, their bench players such as Jose Alvarado, Naji Marshall, and Trey Murphy all got meaningful minutes to start the season due to the Pelicans' injuries and now have invaluable experience to add off the bench.

Pacers Focused on One Side of the Ball

The Pacers are lead by Tyrese Haliburton but are dealing with a few injuries heading into tonight's matchup.

Daniel Theis (knee) and Chris Duarte (ankle) are both out already while Andrew Nembhard (knee) is questionable and Aaron Nesmith (foot) is unlikely to play. In the event Nesmith can't go, rookie Bennedict Mathurin should get as much run as he can handle and may slide into the starting lineup.

The Pacers have played at the fifth-fastest Pace in the league; however, it has not helped their on court performance as they are just 4-5 but they have the 22nd ranked Adjusted Net Rating (-4.2). This is almost entirely due to their defense.

Their offense has been about league average, but considering their Pace the output is above average from their raw point scoring totals; on the flip side, the defense is fifth-worst in the NBA, with a 116.7 Adjusted Net Rating, per Dunks and Threes. The Pacers have the fourth-worst allowed eFG% at 55.8% and their opponents basically score at will from anywhere on the floor.

What's stunning is that Myles Turner has actually helped this defense but one man can only do so much. Even with Turner in, the Pacers still allow 113.1 points per 100 possessions which would be in the bottom third of the league.

Pelicans-Pacers Pick

This matchup puts an elite offense against a porous defense and that offense is recently healthy and can perform even better.

The one edge the Pacers have is their volume of 3s. They shoot the 3 ball at the seventh-highest frequency (39.3%) compared to the Pelicans' who are last (27%). This could create a math advantage for the Pacers if they are able to get hot from 3-point range.

The issue for the Pacers though is although they may be able to create that shot volume, the Pelicans are the best team in the league at defending the 3-point line and opponents shoot just 32% from long range. The Pelicans can neutralize that math advantage.

The Pelicans are the superior team and with an off day tomorrow, I expect them to run their starters rather than limit their minutes — this is an opportunity for the Pelicans to shine and I'll lay the points.

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