The New Orleans Pelicans have won eight of their last 10 games, with the last win coming in overtime on Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Now, the Pelicans host the New York Knicks on Friday night, with New York already locked into the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Knicks sat Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle and RJ Barrett in their last game, but Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes and Obi Toppin combined for 107 points in a win over the Indiana Pacers.
Brunson and Randle will miss this game while Barrett is questionable, and that gives the Pels a massive advantage.
New York has nothing to play for, as the team is already locked into the No. 5 seed in the East. The Pelicans are currently eighth in the West, but they are just one game back of the No. 5-seeded Los Angeles Clippers.
That gives the Pels plenty of reasons to win this game, and win it handily against the Knicks backups. Let’s dive into the odds and my best bet for this matchup:
Knicks vs. Pelicans odds, spread and total
Knicks vs. Pelicans prediction and pick
The Knicks were able to win and cover the spread against the Indiana Pacers, who were sitting several key players, on Wednesday night, but this is a whole different story.
New York is the second best team in the NBA against the spread on the road, but it’s going to have a hard time competing offensively with the Pelicans expected to play their entire rotation.
This isn’t to say that Grimes, Quickley, Josh Hart and Toppin can’t hang around, but ultimately the Knicks have no incentive to win this game.
If they fall behind big, Tom Thibodeau should be inclined to sit some of his key rotation pieces and let some of the team’s end of the bench players run.
New Orleans needed overtime to beat Memphis in its last game, but ended up covering the spread in the win. I’ll back the Pels, who have the motivation advantage, to win and cover tonight.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.