Pelicans vs. Celtics NBA expert prediction and odds for Monday, Jan. 29 (Back New Orleans on the road)

NBA betting preview, prediction and best bet for Pelicans-Celtics.
Jan 19, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) moves
Jan 19, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) moves / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Ten days ago, the Boston Celtics were storming through the Eastern Conference behind its home dominance, having not lost a game all season at TD Garden. Now, Boston has lost two straight at home after falling flat offensively against the Denver Nuggets Jan. 2 (102-100) and the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday (115-96). Are they primed to bounce back when the New Orleans Pelicans come to town? 

The Pelicans are tied with the Phoenix Suns for the sixth seed in the Western Conference and are looking to bounce back themselves. New Orleans’ offense exploded in a 153-124 win over Utah Jan. 23, but have lost two straight since and surrendered 141 points in a blowout loss to Milwaukee on Saturday. 

Boston is once again laying a big number on its home floor. Will they pull away on Monday? Here’s a betting preview for the matchup. 

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Pelicans vs. Celtics odds, spread and total

Odds Via Bet365:

Pelicans: +7.5
Celtics: -7.5

Pelicans: +275
Celtics: -310

Total: 233.5
OVER: -110
UNDER: -110

Pelicans vs. Celtics how to watch

  • Date: Monday, Jan. 29
  • Game time: 7:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: TD Garden
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports
  • Pelicans record: 26-20
  • Celtics record: 35-11

Pelicans vs. Celtics injury reports

New Orleans Pelicans injury report

  • No injuries to report

Boston Celtics injury report

  • Luke Kornet (hamstring): doubtful
  • Kristaps Porzingis (ankle): questionable 
  • Al Horford (neck): questionable 

Pelicans vs. Celtics key players to watch


Jonas Valanciunas: Boston has question marks in its frontcourt with Porzingis and Horford each questionable for Monday night, which brings Valanciunas into the spotlight with a potential favorable matchup. The 6-foot-11 veteran center averages 13.9 points and 9.6 rebounds per game while shooting 56.8% from the field. Valanciunas has pulled down double-digit rebounds in three of the last four games and has shot 24-of-43 from the field in that span. He was the lone bright spot in New Orleans’ 107-83 home loss to the Thunder, scoring 14 points to go with nine rebounds. 


Jaylen Brown: Brown signed a supermax contract extension in July and is averaging 22.6 points per game this season. However, Boston has lacked complimentary scoring in its previous two home losses and that falls on Brown, who is combined 9-of-32 from the field in those contests (1-of-11 from 3-point range) with 21 combined points. He followed up a poor performance in the loss to Denver with a triple-double in Boston’s next game at Houston, will he bounce back again? 

Pelicans vs. Celtics prediction and pick

Boston’s dominance at home has been well-documented, but the Celtics have come up flat in its last two home spots. Now, they’ll face a team who excels on the road. New Orleans is 7-4-1 ATS as a road underdog this season and have gone 14-11-1 (56%) ATS with equal rest (both teams played Saturday).

Boston’s defensive metrics are off the charts this season with the No. 1 defensive rating along with a No. 4 ranking in defensive rebounding. But how much does that take a hit if Porzingis and Horford can’t go? That tandem combines for 13.4 rebounds per game and backup 7-foot-1 center Luke Kornet is doubtful with a hamstring injury. 

Milwaukee punished New Orleans down low with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez combining for 54 points, but Boston is shorthanded in the front court against the Pelicans, who are top-10 in rebounding. 

New Orleans is 12-10 straight up on the road this season and you’re buying low after getting blown out in Milwaukee. Take the Pelicans to hang within the number. 

Shelby's Pick: Pelicans +8.5

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.