New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trail Blazers

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The New Orleans Pelicans will remain at the Moda Center on Thursday night to take on the Portland Trail Blazers in a Western Conference matchup. These teams faced off on Tuesday where the Portland Trail Blazers stole a 125-124 win after being down 17 points with six minutes remaining. The New Orleans Pelicans are 11th in the Western Conference with a 17-23 record. The Portland Trail Blazers are sixth in the Western Conference with a 23-16 record.

These teams are almost exactly the same on both sides of the floor so this should be a very interesting matchup. Let’s take a deeper dive into New Orleans and Portland to decide where we should be placing our wagers.

Sophomore Star > Sophomore Slump

Power forward Zion Williamson has been one of the best young players in the league as well. He is averaging 25.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.7 blocks in 32.6 minutes on the court. He needs to keep improving his shooting numbers as he is 62 percent from the floor, 31.6 percent from the three-point line, and 69.7 percent from the charity stripe. In his last game against the Trail Blazers, Williamson played 33 minutes and finished with 28 points, five rebounds, eight assists, and a steal. If he can figure out how to replicate this performance, it will do wonders for New Orleans.

The New Orleans Pelicans have been one of the lesser defenses in the league at this point as they are giving up 115.7 points per game, which is 27th in the NBA. In their last game against the Portland Trail Blazers, they allowed 125 points on 38-of-73 (52.1 percent) from the floor, 18-of-43 (41.9 percent) from beyond the arc, and shot 31 free-throws. If the Pelicans can lower defend without fouling, they will be a good spot here.

Dame Dolla

With the team beginning to get healthy, point guard Damian Lillard has been carrying the Portland Trail Blazers this season. He is averaging 30.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, eight assists, and a steal in 36.2 minutes per game. He is shooting well as he is 45.1 percent from the floor, 38.8 percent from beyond the arc, and 93.6 percent from the free-throw line. In his last game against the Pelicans, Lillard played 41 minutes and finished with 50 points, six rebounds, 10 assists, and four turnovers. If he can repeat this play with the turnovers being cut out, it will definitely help Portland get going offensively.

The Portland Trail Blazers have been the worst defenses to begin the year as they are giving up 115.6 points per game, which is 26th in the league. In their last game against the New Orleans Pelicans, they allowed 124 points on 46-of-88 (52.3 percent) from the floor, 16-of-33 (48.5 percent) from beyond the arc, and 20 free-throw attempts. If they can figure out how to limit the number of open threes taken against them, they will be in a better spot.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

New Orleans is going to bounce back after getting embarrassed in the final handful of minutes in Tuesday’s game. A high assist percentage gives us a great idea of how the offense is flowing as there will be motion through the team. New Orleans is 14th in the NBA with a 60.8 assist percentage while Portland is last with 50 percent. Field goal percentage is another important stat for obvious reasons. The Pelicans are tied for third in the league with 48.7 percent shooting while the Trail Blazers are tied for 25th in the league with 44.8 percent shooting. The Pelicans just covered in this matchup on Tuesday so expect more of the same here.

Prediction:
New Orleans +1

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

The adjusted ratings can tell us a lot about where we should be leaning here. Let’s start with the adjusted offensive ratings for these teams. The Pelicans are seventh in the league with a 116.6 offensive rating while the Trail Blazers are sixth in the league with a 116.6 rating as well. The adjusted defensive ratings can also be vital as New Orleans ranks 28th in the league with a 116.6 defensive rating while Portland ranks 29th with a 118 defensive rating. The over hit in six of the last seven road games for the Pelicans while it also hit in four of the last five Trail Blazers games. All in all, go with OVER 241.5 points in this game.

Prediction:
OVER 241.5