The New Orleans Pelicans have lost two in a row but luckily didn’t lose much ground and still remain just 1.5 games behind the Lakers for the 9th seed in the Western Conference.
The Pelicans are pretty much lost without Ingram, so it’s not surprising they were beaten handily by the Grizzlies, who are one of the NBA’s best teams.
The Orlando Magic have the second-worst record in the NBA and are a team the Pelicans should beat with or without Ingram, but the Pels are on the second game of a back-to-back, so it won’t be easy, even though the Magic are playing their second game in as many night’s as well.
This is one the Pelicans desperately need to win, as they kick off a four-game home stand where they could make up some ground on the Lakers and add some cushion to their lead over the Trail Blazers and Spurs.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Orlando Magic: Odds, spread, over/under, best bets
According to WynnBET, the Pelicans are eight point favorites at home vs. the Magic.
Markelle Fultz has been listed as out for the game and rookie Jalen Suggs is questionable, so the Pels might catch a break in the backcourt.
The real question is whether Brandon Ingram will play, as the Pels have stunk without him and need him back in the lineup as soon as possible, as they are just 2-13 in games without him.
The money lines are set at +277 for Orlando and -360 for New Orleans, so this is a game the books expect the Pels to win even without knowing the status of Ingram.
The over/under is 222 combined points, which seems a bit high considering the Magic have failed to score 100 in their last two games and the Pelicans have been playing outstanding defense (not including last night).
I like the Pels to win with the under, as both teams could be on tired legs, which should lead to a closer, low-scoring game.
If Ingram is still out, expect CJ McCollum to have another monster game, as he will be the focal point of the offense.
The Pels’ bigs could have their hands full with Wendall Carter Jr. and Mo Bamba, but Jonas Valanciunas is pretty much a guaranteed double double.
Tony Snell put up a dud as Ingram’s replacement, so hopefully he’ll be headed back to the bench tonight, where he has been much more effective.
Willie Hernangomez has put together a few good games and could be your best low-cost daily fantasy play on the Pelicans, though I would probably try to find another option and stick with McCollum, who should be one of the top daily fantasy players.
How to watch Pelicans vs. Magic
The game vs. Orlando will tip off at 7:00 PM CT and you can watch on Bally Sports New Orleans or listen on ESPN 100.3 FM.