Pelicans vs. Warriors Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
After missing the playoffs in the previous two seasons, the Golden State Warriors are on the comeback trail to return to the NBA’s elite.
They have started this season off hot with a 6-1 record and look to keep that momentum going against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night. They are in the middle of an eight-game home stand and have faced an easy schedule so far this season. Are they true contenders or are they due for regression?
The Pelicans have a league-worst 1-8 record and have lost five games in a row where they only covered in one of those games. In addition, they are in the midst of a long road trip out the West Coast. Can they put up a fight against Stephen Curry and the Warriors? Let’s break down the matchup below.
Offense, Defense and Injuries are Stifling the Pelicans
The Pelicans, at the moment, are a team in shambles. They rank 24th in Offensive Rating (103.3) and 28th in Defensive Rating (111), per NBA Advanced Stats.
Zion Williamson is still recovering from a right foot surgery, is weeks away from a return and may be months away from being game shape. Jonas Valanciunas and Brandon Ingram are putting up empty stats that are not producing any wins.
Ingram has sat out three consecutive games with a right hip injury. He is listed as questionable against the Warriors, but the current line (between 8.5 and 9) indicates to me that he may suit up. Keep an eye on the @FantasyLabsNBA Twitter account for the latest news on his status.
The Pelicans don’t have any strong support from their backcourt. Devonte’ Graham, whom they acquired from the Hornets, is a high-volume, low-efficiency chucker (37.9% field goal percentage). Their other starting guard, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, is shooting 35.5% from the field.
To add a cherry on top, they are playing in the third game of a four-game road trip. They lost and failed to cover in those first two road games against the Phoenix Suns and Kings. They are fatigued and had to over-compensate with Ingram’s absence last few games due to injury.
Road underdogs off two consecutive road losses have gone 71-54-5 (59.2%) to the over since the 2019-2020 season, per Sports Data Query Language at Gimme The Dog. The fatigue seems to affect the defenses first as games in this situation tend to be more high scoring. This trend is active on the Pelicans.
Warriors Winning With Depth and Pace
After losing to the Memphis Grizzlies in the Play-In Tournament last season, the Warriors are back with a vengeance. They surprised the league last season with the fifth-best Defensive Rating (109.4) and they have now improved to first in the league (98.7), per NBA Advanced Stats.
Draymond Green, a career 43.8% shooter, is red-hot to start the season, shooting 56.8% from the field through the first seven games. This should regress to the mean, but if he can be relied on to knock down his open shots, then that makes the Warriors that much more dangerous.
The Warriors have done an amazing job of developing their young talent. Third-year guard Jordan Poole, who many considered to be a candidate to win Most Improved Player, is taking his game to another level. His efficiency can use some work, but he is continuing to improve his game. He finally broke out last game in a win against the Hornets, where he scored 31 points on 11-for-21 shooting and knocked down seven 3-pointers.
Damion Lee has emerged as a reliable sixth man off the bench and is a deadly 3-point shooter. They have guys like Andre Iguodala and Gary Payton II that can come off the bench and really provide a defensive spark. They are an incredibly deep squad and when Klay Thompson comes back, this team will be feared.
The Warriors are in the middle of a long eight-game homestand and they just defeated the Charlotte Hornets and now have to face the lowly Pelicans. I can see the Warriors mailing it on defense and continue to push the tempo with the third-fastest Pace in the NBA. They rank second in Effective Field Goal percentage and should be able to score at will against the Pelicans.
The Warriors are -8.5 and I do not blame you if you want to take it. The Warriors are looking elite and the Pelicans have been awful. However, I make the Warriors line right at -10 and do not see much value in this line. I can see the Warriors being complacent and comfortable after multiple wins at home, especially after a dominating win against the talented Hornets.
Instead, my eyes are set on the total where I see a game script for a potentially high scoring game. Ingram could return for the Pelicans, which would give them a huge boost to their offense. I see some positive regression for the Pelicans’ terrible shooting. Also, I think the Warriors defense may suffer due to some complacency from a long homestand and facing such an inferior opponent.
On the flip side, the Warriors should continue their hot shooting at home against an incredibly weak Pelicans’ defense. Poole is starting to heat up and I can see him having another big game. I think the Warriors will control the pace with an up-tempo game.
It is tough betting overs in this current landscape, but I think situational aspect makes the over look very enticing, especially if Ingram plays. I make the total in the 221. At the time of this writing, the total is currently at 219.5.
A good idea is to wait until mid-day Friday to place this bet at potentially a better price. I can see the total being steamed lower with all the prevalent unders this season, the Pelicans’ poor offensive metrics and the excellent Warriors’ defensive metrics.
Pick: Over 219.5