Pelicans vs. Nuggets: Can New Orleans Stop Its Slide?

Action Network contributor Kenny Ducey previews how to bet Pelicans vs. Nuggets, including updated odds, picks & predictions for Tuesday's game.

Pelicans vs. Nuggets Odds

Pelicans Odds +7
Nuggets Odds -7
Over/Under 232
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The New Orleans Pelicans continue to struggle in the aftermath of Zion Williamson’s injury, coming into Tuesday night’s tilt with the Denver Nuggets on an eight-game losing streak.

Luckily for New Orleans, Denver is dealing with some injury issues of its own and has lost three of its last four.

Let’s dive into how this game should go in our preview and predictions for Pelicans vs. Nuggets.

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New Orleans Pelicans

It’s been a grim month for New Orleans, and even the spread has been hard to achieve amidst its eight game skid; the Pelicans are now just 2-6 against the spread on that run. One of the games that New Orleans managed to cover in was an excruciating one-point loss to the Nuggets last Tuesday.

Surprisingly, that one was hanging in the balance despite the fact that CJ McCollum was off his game that evening. He turned the ball over six times and went just 9-for-22 from the field, missing all eight of his three-point attempts. It was Jose Alvarado who came through off the bench with 17, and in general the Pelicans won the war of attrition on the glass. They pulled down 34.1% of available offensive rebounds and in general out-rebounded Denver 43-34.

That’s nothing new for arguably the best rebounding team in the league, though it’s been a rare occurrence of late. New Orleans is just 21st in rebounding on its eight-game slide, and while you might want to chalk that one up to the loss of Williamson, I’d be quick to point out there is just a 1.4-point difference in their Rebounding Rate with the big man on the floor.

Denver Nuggets

We waited and waited for the Nuggets to release their injury report on Monday evening, and when it finally came out we realize why it may have taken so long. Denver is listing Jamal Murray as questionable here due to injury management for his left knee, and while we have seen that plenty of times this season we haven’t seen it in a spot like this.

With Murray coming back this season after a long layoff due to a torn ACL, it hasn’t been surprising to see the Nuggets rest him on back-to-backs. The Nuggets didn’t play on Monday, however, and they next play on Thursday, so this is rather strange.

Missing Murray would obviously be massive for Denver. He had 25 points in 40 minutes the last time the Nuggets played the Pelicans, and he helped defend McCollum, who was the best player on the floor for New Orleans.

The Nuggets already rank second-worst in points per game allowed to opposing point guards, so this could be a difficult spot for Denver.

Pelicans-Nuggets Pick

There are too many variables here for me to get interested in Denver. The line is on the move towards the Pelicans, and I’d continue to follow the money until the number gets inside of 5.5 points.

I’d expect a better game out of McCollum this time around, given he’s averaged 24.8 points since Williamson was injured and with the Nuggets’ struggles against opposing point guards. The likelihood of a big night increases if Murray misses this one, too.

Denver has gotten abused on the glass over the last eight games, ranking 18th in the NBA, and it also was taken to school by New Orleans down low the last time these sides met.

The combination of a big McCollum night, ownership of the paint and the potential absence of Murray has me strongly leaning towards taking the points here.

Pick: Pelicans +7 (Down to +5.5)