Nets vs. Pelicans NBA expert prediction and odds for Tuesday, Jan. 2 (Fade the Nets)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the New Orleans Pelicans' matchup with the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, Jan. 2.
New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram.
New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram. / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans are making a bit of a run in the Western Conference entering 2024, winning seven of their last 10 games to climb to the No. 6 seed in the West. 

Their opponent on Tuesday – the Brooklyn Nets – can say just about the exact opposite. 

Brooklyn is just 2-8 over its last 10 games, slipping to ninth in the East in the process. The team has struggled on the road, going 6-10 straight up. The recent West Coast trip for the Nets was a major issue, and the team is just 2-7 against the West this season. 

New Orleans is favored at home in this game, but should bettors take the Pelicans to cover?

I have the latest odds and my best bet for this game ready to get you started wagering on Pelicans-Nets. 

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Nets vs. Pelicans odds, spread and total

Odds via Bet365

Nets +5.5
Pelicans -5.5

Nets +180
Pelicans -220

OVER 227.5 (-110)
UNDER 227.5 (-110)

Nets vs. Pelicans how to watch

  • Date: Tuesday, Jan. 2
  • Game Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Smoothie King Center
  • How to Watch (TV): Bally Sports New Orleans, YES Network
  • Nets Record: 15-18
  • Pelicans Record: 19-14

Nets vs. Pelicans injury reports

Brooklyn Nets injury report

  • Noah Clowney – out
  • Keon Johnson – out
  • Dorian Finney-Smith – probable
  • Ben Simmons – out
  • Lonnie Walker IV – out
  • Dariq Whitehead – out

New Orleans Pelicans injury report

  • Cody Zeller – available
  • Trey Murphy III – questionable
  • E.J. Liddell – out
  • Matt Ryan – out

Nets vs. Pelicans key players to watch

Brooklyn Nets

Mikal Bridges: It’s been an up-and-down season for Mikal Bridges, who is averaging 21.1 points per game but shooting below his career averages from the field and from 3. Bridges has some strong scoring games, but he’s also had single-digit scoring performances twice in the last month. Since Dec. 1, Bridges is averaging 20.3 points per game and shooting 43.8 percent from the field. 

New Orleans Pelicans

Brandon Ingram: I could pick any of New Orleans’ Big 3 for this game, but Ingram is the guy who stands out because of his success against Brooklyn. In his Pelicans career, Ingram has scored 40, 22, 27, 22, and 28 points in his games against Brooklyn. The former No. 2 overall pick is averaging 23.3 points per game this season, and he should be a lot to deal with for Royce O’Neale, Dorian Finney-Smith, and others. 

Nets vs. Pelicans prediction and pick

Brooklyn opened the season as one of the best teams in the NBA against the spread, but the team has slipped in recent weeks. 

The Nets are now just: 

  • 18-14-1 ATS overall
  • 6-6 ATS as a road underdog
  • 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games

That sets up well for New Orleans to pick up a cover at home, where the team is 11-7 straight up but just 6-6 ATS as a home favorite. 

Brooklyn comes into this game just 20th in the NBA in net rating, and the Pelicans are much better in that department, ranking No. 8 in the NBA. 

Brooklyn’s defense (24th in defensive rating) is a major concern with Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and CJ McCollum all healthy for the Pelicans. 

I lean with the Pels to win this game and cover, as Brooklyn simply hasn’t been able to pick up an against-the-spread win as of late. 

Peter's Pick: Pelicans -5.5

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.