Nets vs. Pelicans Odds & Picks: Pelicans Ready to Cover

Jan 15, 2022
Nets vs. Pelicans Odds & Picks: Pelicans Ready to Cover

We finish off an incredible opening week of legalized sports gambling in New York with an exciting NBA matchup at the Barclays Center between the Brooklyn Nets and New Orleans Pelicans. The Nets (26-15) are just 1.5 games behind the Bulls for first place in the Eastern Conference. They made a statement on Wednesday with a 138-112 blowout win at Chicago. The Pelicans are almost fully healthy and enter tonight on a two-game winning streak, with victories in three of their past four games.

Can the Nets keep pace with the top teams in the Eastern Conference, and earn a strong home win over a hot Pelicans team? Or will New Orleans continue to build momentum towards a late-season return of Zion Williamson and earning the last playoff spot in the Western Conference? Let's take a close look at where bettors should place their money tonight in a battle between two teams with the largest over/under on the 10-game NBA slate.

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Nets vs. Pelicans Betting Odds

Nets Pelicans
Spread -6.5 +6.5
Moneyline -265 +220
Over/Under 228.5 (-110)

*Lines accurate at the time of publication.

Nets vs. Pelicans Best Bets

Pelicans +6.5 vs. Nets (-110, DraftKings)

Brooklyn is a legitimate NBA title contender when they have their top three superstars on the court at the same time. However, it's been a rare sighting for Brooklyn fans to see that trio, which has led to the Nets' awful record against the spread—an abysmal 4-17-1 ATS at home, which is the worst mark among all NBA teams. They have failed to cover their last seven straight games at the Barclays Center. Overall, the Nets are just 15-25-1, the third-worst team in the league against the spread.

The Nets have also struggled on the defensive end the past two weeks, ranking fifth-worst among all NBA teams. In their most recent home loss to Oklahoma City, the Nets allowed 130 points, the most the Thunder had scored in any game this season.

New Orleans has experienced a frustrating season. They expected to be a legitimate playoff contender after just missing out on the final playoff spot last season. However, the loss of Zion Williamson, combined with losing multiple players to injuries and COVID-19 protocols has challenged first-year head coach Willie Green. New Orleans started the season with a 1-12 record but is now playing its best basketball of the season. Leading-scorer Brandon Ingram is averaging 27.8 points per game (PPG) in the past four contests, and New Orleans has gotten a big boost from the return of center Jonas Valanciunas from health and safety protocols. He is averaging 18.2 points and 13.3 rebounds during the month of January.

Brooklyn rested All-Star Kevin Durant and guard Patty Mills against Oklahoma City, severely limiting their depth. The Nets returned home early in the morning after playing at Portland and Chicago within 48 hours. They chose to try and beat the Thunder with just James Harden as their main offensive option. We should see Durant and Mills return tonight, but will that be enough against a hot New Orleans team?

The Nets are a veteran team, battling through an 11-game schedule in just 19 days. They have struggled to cover the spread at home under normal circumstances, and the Pelicans roster is actually more talented on offense since Kyrie Irving is still unavailable in Brooklyn home games.

With Brooklyn's struggles this year ATS at home, I'm grabbing the Pelicans +6.5. This line opened at New Orleans +8 and has been bet down overnight to the current level.

Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)

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Nets vs. Pelicans Game Total Under 228.5 Points (-110, DraftKings)

The Nets want to run, and carry the fourth-fastest pace in the league. However, their offense is at its best when Kyrie Irving is on the floor. With Irving on the floor, the Nets are averaging 125 points per game. With Harden, Durant, and Irving together this season, that number jumps to 133.5 points. On the season, Brooklyn averages 111.5 points per game, a substantial dropoff. With the roster almost fully healthy, the Pelicans will also have no problem scoring tonight against Brooklyn. However, I still think this total is set too high as a result of Oklahoma City's big scoring performance on Thursday.

Despite all of Brooklyn's offensive talent, they have also been an under team this season. The Nets are 21-20 to the under, including a 13-9 record in home games. New Orleans has been 23-19 to the under, including 12-9 in road contests.

The absence of Irving actually makes the Nets a better defensive team, but a worse offensive team. I'm projecting a close game between these two teams, despite the record difference. I'll pair the under with the Pelicans +6.5.

Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)

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