Pelicans vs. Nuggets prediction and odds for Thursday, March 30

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports /

Wait a second, the New Orleans Pelicans might be a real NBA team again. It’s been a while since they’ve looked like it, but before the loss on Tuesday, they had won five games straight and had a brief moment above .500.

The Pelicans enter tonight at 38-38, No. 9 in the Western Conference standings. The team that they and everybody else out West is looking up at is the Denver Nuggets.

Denver is 51-24 and winners of their last four after a bit of a mid-March swoon. Most recently they took down a skeleton crew of Philadelphia 76ers, 116-111. Denver is favored to keep the win-streak going at home tonight.

Pelicans vs. Nuggets odds, spread and total

Pelicans vs. Nuggets prediction and pick

Nikola Jokic is in a heated MVP race with Joel Embiid, and Embiid missed their head-to-head earlier this week, but now it might be Jokic missing a game. He’s listed as questionable for this matchup with the Pelicans and Denver might be able to afford to give their star a night off with a 3.5 game lead in the Western Conference. However, if they do, they might not be able to escape with a win against New Orleans.

Brandon Ingram is playing like a superstar right now. In March he’s averaging 26.8 points a game with 6.9 assists and 5.3 rebounds. He’s doing it while shooting 52.2% from the field and 40% from three. He’s honestly been great since February, but now the Pelicans are putting it together on the other end of the floor.

New Orleans is the No. 1 team in terms of defensive rating this month, allowing 109.6 points per 100 possessions. Willie Green’s group is finally starting to actualize all of the talent on this roster. Trey Murphy III is growing into another two-way star on the wing, Herb Jones is being allowed to play 30+ minutes a game and they’ve all but phased out smaller players other than CJ McCollum which doesn’t leave them with any weaknesses on the defensive end.

The Nuggets are playing great right now, but I think 6.5 is too many points to give New Orleans this month while they’re playing better than anyone on defense.

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change