San Antonio Spurs vs. New Orleans Pelicans Betting Pick and Prediction
Not the greatest of seasons for these two teams but the San Antonio Spurs (34-48) and New Orleans Pelicans (36-46) did just enough to continue to play for one more night at the least. This game here shows the importance of the Play-In Tournament because in any other season, these two teams would be on vacation.
However, the Smoothie King Center down in New Orleans will see the Pelicans host the Spurs in this elimination game. San Antonio took the regular season series beating the Pelicans three out of four times. The coaching brilliance of Gregg Popovich for the Spurs versus a young team in the Bayou in the Pelicans.
Spurs Prediction: Can Pop Drag the Spurs to the Postseason?
How did the Spurs get here? The answer is simple: Gregg Popovich. In his 26th season as the Spurs coach, Pop became the winningest coach in NBA history in arguably one of his most difficult seasons as coach. The Spurs started out 4-13 on the season then found themselves 16 games below .500 in early March.
However, a 10-8 stretch to end the season gave this opportunity to be in this elimination game. Dejounte Murray has become the star for the Spurs, making his All-Star appearance this season.
Be sure to check out our Daily NBA Predictions.
Pelicans Prediction: Will New Orleans Build on Mid-Season Turnaround?
With first-year coach Willie Green, no Zion Williamson all season, and starting 1-12, the Pelicans could have mailed it in for the year, but they didn’t. Patience and perseverance was the motto for the Pelicans which would pay off with the trade for CJ McCollum at the trade deadline.
Brandon Ingram has been the star player for the Pelicans but adding McCollum definitely helped the Pelicans turn the season around. McCollum has averaged 24 points per game, and with Ingram averaging 22.7 points, New Orleans is alive for one more home game at the very least.
New Orleans May be the Site, But Don’t Bet Against Pop
The Spurs took three of four regular season contests, but it’s the Pelicans with the home court advantage. McCollum can be a matchup nightmare for anybody for one game, especially in an elimination game. However, Murray presents the same problem as the Spurs’ star player.
Ingram will get his as well along with McCollum, so the Pelicans will be a tough out at home. But there’s a saying that you don’t bet against certain teams or players, like Tom Brady in the NFL or Tom Izzo in college hoops, where you don’t bet against Coach Pop. The coaching brillance of Popovich will outduel the tandem of McCollum and Ingram as the Spurs win on the road.
Caesars thinks otherwise as the Pelicans are a -5.5 point favorite and ESPN’s Basketball Index gives the Pelicans a 69.8% chance of winning.