Pelicans vs. Rockets: Odds and best bets for must-win game

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /

Even though the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans have only 13 combined wins, this is a  must-win game for the Pelicans.

The Pels have won 4-of-6 against tough competition and are starting to look like a team that could make some noise if and when they ever get Zion Williamson back.

Credit has to be given to coach Willie Green, who has kept his young team focused and playing hard without their best player and against a brutal 1st-half schedule.

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That schedule is about to lighten up, starting with tonight in Houston, which is why this is a must-win for the Pelicans, as they can pile up some wins and get back in this thing.

Coming off a big road win over Dallas, this would be a huge letdown for the Pels if they didn’t get the “W” in Houston, but the Rockets are playing well, winners of 5-in-a-row, so if the Pelicans don’t show up, they will lose.

Here are the odds and best fantasy bets for New Orleans vs. Houston.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Houston Rockets: Odds, spread, over/under

According to WynnBET, the Pelicans are three point favorites on the road vs. Houston. This is the first time the Pelicans have been favored in a game in a long time, so it will be interesting to see how they respond to the much-different pressure of being the favorite on the road.

The money lines are set at -150 for the Pelicans and +130 for the Rockets, so the Pels are not heavy favorites, but still expected to take care of business against their division foe.

The over under is 221, which is pretty high for the Pelicans this season. The Pelicans have been rolling though and the Rockets are terrible defensively, so this could be a high scoring game with a whole lot of points.

I’d take the Pelicans to win and the over, but wouldn’t feel great about the latter.

Pelicans vs. Rockets: Best daily fantasy bets

The Rockets will be missing Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. but they’ve been playing much better without Green, so I am not sure it really hurts them.

I do love Jonas Valanciunas against Christian Wood, as he should be able to push Wood around in the paint and get some easy hoops.

Brandon Ingram is playing very well and is possibly playing the best all-around basketball of his career after setting a career high in assists (12) against the Mavericks. His scoring numbers are slightly down but he’s making up for it with more rebounds and assists. The Rockets have no answer for Ingram and he should have big game.

My two low-cost plays for the Pelicans are Devonte’ Graham, who should thrive against the Rockets’ backup guards, and Willie Hernangomez, who is again quietly putting up big numbers and is coming off another double-double against the Mavericks.

I love Willie against Alperen Sengun, the Rockets’ rookie and this could be a night where Hernangomez leads the team in rebounds.

How to watch

This game will tip off early at 6:00 PM CT and you can watch it on Bally Sports New Orleans or listen on ESPN 100.3 FM.

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