The New Orleans Pelicans play the third game in four days on Sunday against the Golden State Warriors looking to avenge a loss from earlier in the season.
There are periods in the NBA season that are tough to go through and the New Orleans Pelicans are at the tail-end of one. The Pelicans are in the second day of a back-to-back and will play their third game in four days.
The team shocked the Los Angeles Clippers at home in Paul George‘s return on Thursday, flew down to South Beach to lose to the Miami Heat on Saturday and flew back home to host the Warriors on Sunday.
After an off-day on Monday, the Pelicans will host the Portland Trailblazers on Tuesday before starting a West Coast swing. The team is in Phoenix on Thursday, Utah on Saturday and Los Angeles on Sunday before returning home on Wednesday the 27th.
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If the Pelicans can win this game against the beaten and battered Golden State Warriors then it will give them two wins in this three-game span, which is a win upon itself. It will be an even bigger win considering the Pelicans are beaten and battered as well.
Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, the three players acquired in the Anthony Davis trade, have all been out recently with an array of injuries. J.J. Reddick and Jahlil Okafor joined them on Saturday with injuries of their own.
Because of all of these injuries, these games are near-impossible to put a spread on. Only one sportsbook, Bet365, has put a line on this game on the Action Network, with that line being the Pelicans -4.5.
It has been equally as difficult to predict these games against the spread as well, evident from my season record. However, I am going to give it another shot after correctly picking the spread against the Miami Heat.
Against the spread prediction (Record: 4-6-1): Golden State Warriors +4.5
Yes, this is not the same Golden State Warriors team of old but given the circumstances, I feel more comfortable taking the underdog in this game and betting the points rather than betting the team.
Both teams are banged up immensely and both teams have also struggled immensely this season. There are three differences between the teams heading into the game, and with the Warriors having an advantage in two of them, I decided to go with them.
First is that this game is in New Orleans, which gives the advantage to the Pelicans. However, on the flip side of that, New Orleans is also coming off of a back-to-back, giving an advantage to the Warriors.
Finally, with both teams so injured that this game looks more like a G League game, we have to look at the coaching. There is no reason to think that Alvin Gentry is a better coach than Steve Kerr, so the advantage goes to the Warriors there as well.
I do think that the New Orleans Pelicans can win this game, but win or lose, I think it will be a close one. Because of that, I cannot go with the -4.5 team and instead have to go with the underdogs.