Warriors vs. Pelicans Betting Preview: Will New Orleans Bounce Back at Home?

Action Network analyst Joe Dellera gives his betting breakdown and pick for Friday's matchup between the Warriors and Pelicans.

Warriors vs. Pelicans Odds

Warriors Odds +5
Pelicans Odds -5
Over/Under 231.5 
Time 8:30 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Golden State Warriors look to bounce back after a brutal loss last night to the Orlando Magic despite a dominant first-half performance. The New Orleans Pelicans are also trying to recover from a stunning overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.

Which team will right the ship tonight? Let’s break it down.

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Warriors Bench Has Been Ineffective

The Warriors are on their second game of a back-to-back set and their fifth road game in the last seven days. They have now lost four games in a row and this is a rough schedule spot for them before they head back home for their next game on Monday night.

It’s likely that Klay Thompson will rest tonight since he was rested in the team’s last back-to-back over the weekend. There also remains a possibility that Steve Kerr decides to rest at least one of Stephen Curry or Draymond Green as well.

A major problem for the Warriors is their rotations — Kerr has insisted on using less-than-ideal lineups to keep his starters’ minutes down while also figuring out who among his young players can be a long-term contributor for this team. Those long-term goals are impacting the team right now, though.

The Warriors’ starting lineup has a preposterous +25.6 point differential per 100 possessions; however, the team as a whole has a -1.2 point differential on the season. They continually blow leads without their best players on the court. Looking at the individual player splits, the starters all have a positive point differential, but the bench players with the next most minutes played have been abysmal.

While some of these struggles may have been anticipated, such as Moses Moody or James Wiseman, it’s surprising that Jordan Poole has a -31.8 point differential in 258 minutes this season. The inexperience, or lack of urgency even, is showing. There were numerous occasions where players missed rotations or did not set proper screens in Thursday’s loss to the Magic.

Following the game, Kerr indicated he was going to make some changes to the rotations, and “everyone” could get a chance to play — the players who stand out in that regard would be Ty Jerome and Jonathan Kuminga. While this is good for the Warriors to develop their talent, we still cannot be sure how they will all mesh together.

Pelicans Should Be Better at Full Strength

The Pelicans lost a heartbreaker to the Lakers in overtime on Wednesday night but now are hopeful that they will return both Brandon Ingram (concussion) and Herb Jones (knee) as both are listed as probable for tonight’s contest.

This should primarily impact Trey Murphy who has played about 37.2 minutes per game since Ingram went down with the concussion compared to minutes in the 20s before. While Zion Williamson may take a slight usage hit with Ingram on the court, he still should lead the team and continue with his excellent facilitating as I discussed in my weekly Player Prop Forecast.

The Pelicans have been better than their 4-3 record indicates. They have the fifth-best Adjusted Net Rating at +5.5 and the second-best Adjusted Offensive Rating at 117.4, per Dunks and Threes. They are scoring at will and can attack from a variety of different levels with an emphasis on relentlessly attacking the rim.

While they have been incredibly effective shooting the 3s, they take those shots at the lowest frequency in the league — not an ideal combination when playing the Warriors.

Despite their relative lack of 3-point shooting, the Pelicans have the third-best Rebounding % in the league at 52.3% compared to the Warriors’ 26th-ranked REB% at 48.6%. This should give the Pelicans plenty of opportunities to limit the Warriors’ second-chance opportunities and have more for themselves.

Warriors-Pelicans Pick

This is a bad schedule spot for the Warriors with their fifth-road game in a seven-day span. While it is tough to bet against Curry stopping this slide, the Warriors’ rotations are what we are betting against. We continually see Kerr running rotations with players that simply are not performing.

This is almost in direct contrast to what the Pelicans have done by giving more minutes to players who have performed well and now are returning two of their best rotation players in Jones and Ingram.

Their anticipated starting lineup has played just 62 possessions together but has dominated their opponents with a +51.4 point differential per 100 possessions — this may negate any edge the Warriors’ starting lineup has been able to build in their games.

I’m laying the points with the Pelicans (I grabbed them at -4) and expect them to send the Warriors back home with a loss.