New Orleans Pelicans vs San Antonio Spurs

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans travel to the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, to battle the San Antonio Spurs Saturday night beginning at 8 pm EST. Currently, the Pelicans are favored by 4.5-points while the total stands at 226.5-points.

The Pelicans halted a 2-game win streak versus the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday night as they fell by 4-points, despite getting another monster game from Zion Williamson (34 points, 8 rebounds, 6 dimes). Brandon Ingram along with Lonzo Ball also posted 20+ points in the contest with Ball coming 2 assists shy of a double-double. However, they not only allowed over 50% shooting to the Bucks, but gave up 13 treys in the loss. Despite the defeat, the Pelicans covered as 8-point dogs for the contest bringing their record to 2-3 ATS in their last 5 games.

The Spurs are licking their wounds after halting a 2-game win streak on the road versus the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night as they entered the contest already shorthanded with DeMar DeRozan out due to personal reasons while LaMarcus Aldridge playing limited minutes due to injury. Despite this, the Spurs were able to step up the defense to allow 42% shooting to the Thunder while forcing 17 turnovers, however, a late shot by Lugentz Dort was the final nail in the coffin. On the other hand, the offense shot 47% while getting 27 from Dejounte Murray as he also collected 9 rebounds along with 6 assists. The Spurs failed to cover as 1-point favorites, yet, are 4-2 ATS in their last 6.

The Spurs have won 3-straight against the Pelicans at home while covering in 2 of those meetings. San Antonio has also covered in 4 of their last 5 versus New Orleans, including in 3-straight matchups.

Williamson continues to destroy the opposition

Williamson is averaging over 26 per game this season on 62% shooting; However, he posted his 2nd-straight 30+ point game along with his 3rd in 5 outings versus the Bucks Thursday night. Despite his performance, the Pelicans had issues on the defensive end guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo along with Khris Middleton, who each posted 30 or more as well in the contest. The good news for the Pelicans is that Ball continued his hot-shooting from deep going 6-10 in this area to post 20 points, his 3rd 20+ point night in 5 starts.

Ingram shot 11-25 from the field in the loss for 23 points while only making one of his 10 shots from deep. However, the forward has posted an average of 26 points per in his last 4 games as the Pelicans stand at a record of 14-18 on the year while being only 1.5-games out of 3rd-place, currently held by the Dallas Mavericks.

However, the duo of Ingram and Williamson must be more efficient from the floor this time around versus the Spurs as the 2 combined to go 16-45 FG along with 2-6 3FG for 18 and 28 points, respectively, December of last year as the Pelicans fought off a late rally to pick up the 3-point home win. Ball posted 16 points on 50% shooting (1-5 3FG) while Eric Bledsoe, who has been a bit shaky on offense as of late, shot only 3-11 (1-5 from deep) for 7 points.

The defense for New Orleans ranks as one of the worst in the league currently. In fact, they have allowed an average of 123 points in their last 6 meetings.

Host of Spurs remain questionable for this contest

DeRozan, Derrick White, Keldon Johnson, along with reserve Rudy Gay are all questionable for this contest, possibly leaving the Spurs without some critical pieces for the 2nd-straight game after team activities were postponed due to a host of players testing positive for Covid-19 mid-February. However, a positive for the Spurs is that Aldridge is back on the bench to provide a lift offensively during this time. Important to note that the center posted just 11 points and 7 boards off the bench in just under 26 minutes while going 3-10 shooting.

Nonetheless, Spurs coach Greg Popovich was satisfied with the effort after missing a ton of games due to injury. “As you can imagine, he wasn’t the normal LA after sitting out so long. But he gave it a hell of an effort and did a good job overall,” the Spurs’ longtime coach shared with ClutchSports.com. The Spurs will certainly need more production from him moving forward, however, along with more performances from Murray, who posted 27 versus the Thunder, his 2nd-straight 20+ point performance.

Patty Mills along with Murray posted 10 and 13 points, respectively, in their last matchup versus the Pelicans on decent shooting nights. Lonnie Walker IV also accounted for 4 of the team’s 11 3-pointers for 16 points while Aldridge struggled missing 5 of 7 shots for only 4 points in the slim defeat as the Spurs shot 43% as a team.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Yes, the Spurs continue to be shorthanded with a number of their critical pieces out due to illness; However, the team was tough to out versus the Thunder on the road.  And when one considers that the Pelicans have only covered in just 2 of the last 7 meetings versus the Spurs, including dropped 2 of 3 against the spread at the AT&T Center, I see this as an offensive duel where the home team will compete till the end.

Prediction:
San Antonio Spurs +4.5

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

The Pelicans have not proven that they can consistently produce effectively on the defensive end.  As stated, they are ranked as one of the worst in the league while entering this game allowing 120 points or more in 6 of their last 10 outings.  Again, the Spurs are shorthanded at this points, yet, one can expect the home team to remain competitive and exploit New Orleans’ lack of commitment on this end of the floor.

Prediction:
Over 226.5