Turn to total for best bet between Bucks and Pelicans on Monday night

New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans have fallen out of the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference, losing three straight games in the process.

The Pels took a tough loss on Saturday to the Phoenix Suns, as Devin Booker torched them for 58 points. Despite that, New Orleans has impressed early in this season, especially since Brandon Ingram is still out of the lineup.

The Bucks will be a little short handed on Monday night as well. Khris Middleton (knee) has been listed as out for this matchup. Joe Ingles (ACL) is expected to make his season debut in this contest for Milwaukee.

The Pelicans have been a much better team at home this season (12-3 straight up) than on the road, but can they step up against the team with the best record in the NBA?

Here are the latest odds and a best bet for the Pelicans-Bucks matchup:

Bucks vs. Pelicans Odds, Spread and Total

Bucks vs. Pelicans Prediction and Pick

I do love the Pelicans’ record at home this season, but this line is a little too short to trust them after losing three straight.

Milwaukee has played most of the season without Middleton, so his absence doesn’t hurt them as much in this game when you look at the team’s season-long statistics. However, I do think there is value on the total in this matchup.

Both of these teams have played elite defense this season, ranking second (Milwaukee) and sixth (New Orleans) in defensive rating.

The Pels have been one of the better OVER teams in the NBA (16-13 this season), but the Bucks have gone UNDER 228 total points in five of their last eight games.

I don’t think either defense makes things easy tonight, and the absence of Ingram and Middleton certainly limits the ceiling of both offenses.

I put this total closer to 223-224, so I’ll gladly side with the UNDER, especially since the Bucks are 9-3 on UNDERs on the road this season.

To further that trend, the Pelicans are 9-6 on UNDERs as the home team in the 2022-23 campaign. Expect a hard-fought contest tonight.

Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record here.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.