The New Orleans Pelicans will take on the Denver Nuggets tonight in the first game of a home back-to-back.
The Pelicans are in the strangest part of their schedule, playing their second of three back-to-backs that will see them playing six games in nine days.
This is going to be a test, as they have been without both Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, but other players have stepped up in their absence and the Pels are showing heart even in the losses.
Zion will definitely be out tonight and both Ingram and Josh Hart are listed as questionable with ankle injuries.
The Pelicans have been much better at home than on the road, but will still have an uphill battle if both Ingram and Hart are out against Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets. Denver is still missing Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray, though the latter may be returning in the near future.
The Pelicans play the Nuggets and Celtics over the next two days and would love to walk away with a split.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Denver Nuggets: Odds, spread, over/under and best bets
According to WynnBET, the Pelicans are 5.5 underdogs at home vs. the Nuggets.
This spread actually seems pretty low considering the Pelicans could be without Ingram and Hart, so check back later in the day and you might get more points if it is confirmed one or both isn’t playing.
The money lines are set at +180 for the Pelicans and -220 for the Nuggets. Denver has won three in a row and Jokic has been playing out of his mind, so it’s hard to see the Pelicans winning this one, and 5.5 points aren’t really enough of a cushion.
If you really want to bet the shorthanded Pelicans, just take them to win outright and get the better odds. They played tough against Philly on the road in the last game and are going to show up no matter who is on the floor. The Pels have had some inspiring efforts at home this season and the Nuggets are due for a letdown.
The over/under is 215 which seems about right given that is it right in between the combined average of what these teams score and allow per game.
If both Ingram and Hart are out, this is going to be tough one for the Pels, but if they aren’t, I love the Pelicans to win this one at home.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker had his best game of the season vs. the 76ers and if he is the starter again, expect another big night, as he will be leading the offense.
The Pelicans will probably go small against the jumbo Nuggets, who have a problem stopping the mid-range (would be a perfect matchup for BI), so I do like NAW in this one if BI and Hart are out.
Jonas Valanciunas will do his best to stop reigning MVP Jokic, and should be able to take advantage of some of the Joker’s defensive weaknesses, so I like him to have a solid double double as well.
How to watch Pelicans vs. Nuggets
The game vs. Denver will tip-off at 7:00 PM CT and you can watch on Bally Sports New Orleans or listen on ESPN 100.3 FM.