The Nets and Pelicans meet on Friday night in a nationally-televised marquee matchup.
While New Orleans will be without their two stars, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, the team has gone 5-1 without either in the lineup this season. Can they hold up against a Nets team that recently won 12 straight games and is now the second seed in the Eastern Conference with Kevin Durant playing at an MVP level?
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Now, onto my best bet.
Nets vs. Pelicans odds, spread and total
Nets vs. Pelicans prediction and pick
This total is too low in my opinion with how the Pelicans’ defense is built. The team loves to force teams to the perimeter, allowing the fifth-highest 3-point rate in the league this season, which is a problem against the Nets’ offense.
Since December 1st, the Nets are first in offensive rating while posting an absurd 61.2% effective field goal percentage. Brooklyn is comfortable shooting from the outside with snipers such as Joe Harris, Royce O’Neale and Yuta Watanabe as well as mid-range savants like Durant and Kyrie Irving. With the Pelicans propensity to allow the long ball, I played the over on KD’s assist prop.
The Pelicans try to shut down the rim, but the Nets are comfortable shooting from outside of it and are lethal at it.
Meanwhile, New Orleans should have their fair share of success as well even without its two primary scoring threats. The Nets are a poor rebounding team, lacking a bruising big man to clean up the glass, something the home team excels at.
Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 13 rebounds in 27 minutes in the Pelicans’ 22-point opening game victory against the Nets. While the Nets are a far better team now, they still lack the size inside to keep New Orleans off the glass. The Pelicans are sixth in offensive rebounding rate this season.
Overall, I think this should be an up-and-down matchup that should feature points on both ends. I’ll grab the over as my favorite play in this game.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.