The New Orleans Pelicans’ home opener is on Friday night against the Dallas Mavericks after dropping the first game of the year in overtime.
The season did not start exactly how the New Orleans Pelicans had imagined as the team took the Toronto Raptors all the way to overtime but were thoroughly outmatched in the extra period and ended up losing by eight.
While the Raptors no longer have Kawhi Leonard, they still have a strong roster that will contend for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. For a young team to take the defending champions to overtime in the first game of the year, without Zion Williamson, is not a bad loss.
There were some positive things and some great flashes that we saw in this game and there was the contrary as well. Personally, I found myself scratching my head about the rotations that Alvin Gentry was using, but that can change game-by-game.
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The Pelicans get their first taste of the Western Conference in 2019 on Friday as they take on the Dallas Mavericks, who are one of several borderline teams in the West that will compete for a low playoff seed alongside the Pelicans.
We don’t want to overstate the importance of this game, as there will be 80 more games after it and losing it won’t determine the fate of the Pelicans’ season, but every win that the Pelicans can get over the Mavericks will come into play at the end of the year.
The last thing we want to do is look back and think “wow, if only the Pelicans won that game on October 25 that they lost by one.”
The betting odds don’t think that the New Orleans Pelicans are going to lose by one. In fact, courtesy of the Action Network, the Pelicans enter this game as two-point favorites over the Dallas Maverick.
I am bringing you the betting odds for every Pelicans game this season along with my record (0-1) to give you a feel of whether or not you can trust me. Tuesday night’s game was frustrating as I had the Pelicans +7 and they lost by eight in overtime.
A two-point line is good in our case as we can essentially bet whether or not we think the Pelicans are going to win. While they could win by just one, chances are that they will either win by two (which is a push) or more.
The Mavericks are a tough team to gauge as they have one of the most dynamic star duos in the league in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. There are questions about how Porzingis will recover from a long layoff but he started the year promising with 23 points in 29 minutes.
Doncic added 34, showing that the Mavericks are going to ride the momentum of their star duo, which accounted for over half of the team’s total points.
And that is why I am giving the edge to the New Orleans Pelicans. While the Mavericks have some guys who would be great role players on a title-contending team, they are going to struggle when Tim Hardaway and Seth Curry are their third and fourth-best player.
Dallas just does not have that much depth. There will be games in which Doncic and Porzingis go off and that does not matter, but there will be games where it absolutely does and the Mavericks can’t get out of the rut.
With this being New Orleans’ home opener, I think the young Pelicans will start off hot, get out to a decent lead, and then control the game from there on out. I don’t think it will be a blowout, but I think the Pelicans will get the best of the Mavericks by 6-10 points.
And while Porzingis is going to tower over everyone else, as he usually does, Derrick Favors is an above-average defensive four and one of the best rim protectors at his position. He can use his strength and physicality to make Porzingis uncomfortable in only his second game back.
New Orleans Pelicans -2 feels like a safe bet. Let’s hope we don’t get burned by another overtime period.