NBA Odds: Pelicans-Celtics prediction, pick, how to watch – ClutchPoints

By Aidan Cotter · 4 min read
The New Orleans Pelicans (25-16) visit the Boston Celtics (29-12) on Wednesday night. Action tips off at 7:40 p.m. ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Pelicans-Celtics prediction and pick.
New Orleans has lost two of their last three games but still sits in third place in the Western Conference. The Pelicans covered 51% of their games while 59% of their games went over the projected point total. Boston has won three straight games and remains in first place in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics covered 54% of their games while 51% went over. This will be the second and final meeting between the two teams. The Celtics won the first matchup 117-109 in New Orleans.
Here are the Pelicans-Celtics NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
New Orleans Pelicans: +9.5 (-110)
Boston Celtics: -9.5 (-110)
Over: 231 (-110)
Under: 231 (-110)
TV: Bally New Orleans, NBCS Boston
Stream: NBA League Pass
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET/ 4:30 p.m. PT
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New Orleans is just trying to tread water right now with both Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson out. Things won’t get any easier tonight as their best defender, Herb Jones, is doubtful to play. That being said, the Pelicans still have a chance to cover the spread thanks to their work down low. New Orleans ranks fifth in rebounding (54.1 RPG) and fourth in points in the paint (55.5 PPG).
Leading the charge down low is center Jonas Valanciunas. Valanciunas has been rock-solid for the Pelicans this season. The burley center averages 14.1 PPG and 9.7 RPG. He’s a nightly double-double threat and has accomplished that in each of their last five games. Valanciunas enters tonight’s game fresh off back-to-back 25-point, 10-rebound performances. He’s taken on a much larger role with New Orleans’ injuries and should be in for another big night tonight against a Boston team who just gave up 21 points and 13 rebounds to Nikola Vucevic.
Perhaps the most surprising contributor in recent games, Naji Marshall’s hot play gives New Orleans a strong chance of covering tonight. The third-year wing played sparingly in his first two seasons but has really stepped up with their injuries. Over his last five games, Marshall averaged 18.2 PPG and 5.2 RPG. He was especially effective in their last three, scoring 23, 24, and 18 points.
Far and away the most vital part of a potential New Orleans cover is guard CJ McCollum. McCollum averages 20.8 PPG and 5.8 APG for the season but has been red-hot of late. Over his last four games, the veteran averaged 30 PPG while shooting 49% from the floor. During that span, he averaged 4.3 made threes per game, making them at a 48% clip. Boston held him to 18 points on 39% shooting in the first matchup but given his recent performances, a bounce-back seems imminent.
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Boston continues to be one of the best teams in the NBA thanks primarily to their blazing-hot offense. The Celtics rank second in scoring (118.5 PPG) and third in made threes (15.5 3PM/Game). They do an excellent job taking care of the ball, ranking first in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.97). While their defense is average, they held New Orleans to 109 points in their previous matchup. The Celtics now get the shorthanded Pelicans at home where they amassed a 16-5 record.
The Celtics’ best chance of covering tonight lies on the shoulders of their star wings. Jayson Tatum ranks fourth in the league in scoring with 30.8 PPG while leading the team with 8.1 RPG. Tatum remains a strong passer, averaging 4.0 APG, and he showed that in their prior matchup with New Orleans when he dished out 10 assists. Although he scored just 19 points against the Pelicans, his recent play suggests he should be due for a rebound performance. Tatum has scored 25+ points in 11 straight games and is coming off a stellar 32-point outing against the Bulls.
Running mate Jaylen Brown is right there with Tatum, averaging 26.8 PPG. Like Tatum, Brown is a strong contributor on the glass (6.9 RPG) and is an underrated passer (3.3 APG). New Orleans had no answer for Brown in the first meeting as Brown had a game-high 27 points on 10/20 shooting. While his outside shot hasn’t been falling, he has a great chance to get back on track given his track record against the Pelicans.
New Orleans has performed admirably with their two stars out. Boston, meanwhile, has shown cracks in their armor but still maintains the NBA’s best record. In a home matchup, I like the Celtics to handle the Pelicans comfortably and cover the spread.
Final Pelicans-Celtics Prediction & Pick: Boston Celtics -9.5 (-110)
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