Jrue Holiday and the New Orleans Pelicans will host LaMarcus Aldridge and the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, while No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson (knee) is set to make his long-awaited rookie debut for the Pelicans. Derrick Favors (back) and Josh Hart (ankle) are questionable for the Pelicans, but otherwise, the team is the closest it has been to full strength in a season plagued by injury. San Antonio doesn’t have any meaningful injuries reported.
Tip-off is set for 9:30 p.m ET from the Smoothie King Center. Sportsbooks list the Pelicans as 3.5-point home favorites, while the over-under for total points is 237 in the latest Pelicans vs. Spurs odds. Before you make any Spurs vs. Pelicans picks or NBA predictions, you’ll want to see what SportsLine’s advanced computer model has to say.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and last season it returned a whopping $4,280 on its top-rated NBA spread and money line picks. It’s already returned almost $1,800 in profit on all its top-rated NBA picks during the 2019-20 season and entered Week 13 on a blistering 32-16 run on all top-rated NBA spread picks. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has locked in on this Western Conference showdown and generated another strong against the spread pick for Spurs vs. Pelicans on Wednesday. You can head to SportsLine to see it. Now, here are several NBA lines for Spurs vs. Pelicans:
Spurs vs. Pelicans spread: Pelicans -3.5 Spurs vs. Pelicans over-under: 237 points Spurs vs. Pelicans money line: New Orleans -170, San Antonio Spurs +145 SAS: Spurs have the fourth-worst cover rate (41.5 percent) in the NBA. NOP: Pelicans are 12-1-1 against the spread over the past 14 games.Why the Pelicans can cover
The model is well aware that New Orleans’ season-long numbers are skewed by the slew of injuries the team has dealt with. As the Pelicans have become healthier over the past month, the team has looked like the potential playoff contender that many expected coming into the season. The team is still 3.5 games out of the eighth spot in the West, but the recent hot streak and the addition of Williamson provide optimism that this team is much better than the season-long numbers suggest.
San Antonio’s defense provides further optimism for New Orleans, which suddenly has a sneakily high-powered offense. The Spurs rank just 25th in defensive efficiency and simply do not have the defensive personnel to match up with versatile wings who can score at multiple levels. Williamson and Brandon Ingram could overwhelm this defense, while Holiday, Lonzo Ball, and Favors are also all playing at a high level entering Wednesday’s action.
Why the Spurs can cover
Just because the Pelicans have the offensive weapons to overwhelm San Antonio’s defense doesn’t mean they will cover the spread against the Spurs on Wednesday, though. The model is well aware that while it is easy to get excited about all of New Orleans’ young pieces, they are still quite young. There could be growing pains as the team tries to integrate Williamson into their offensive system. Ball and Ingram have grown accustomed to dominating the ball with other Pelicans injured, and it may take several games for the team to figure out the best way to disperse touches and minutes among a suddenly crowded rotation.
The Pelicans have the same defensive efficiency rating as the Spurs and don’t have an answer defensively for Aldridge. There’s also DeMar DeRozan to worry about. DeRozan is playing at perhaps the highest level of any point of his career, averaging 26 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, and two steals while shooting 55 percent from the floor over the past two weeks. Top defensive teams like the Bucks, Celtics, and Raptors haven’t been able to slow DeRozan down, so it would be a surprise to see the Pelicans do so.
How to make Spurs vs. Pelicans picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total, and it also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see it at SportsLine.
So who wins Spurs vs. Pelicans? And which side of the spread cashes well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Spurs vs. Pelicans spread you need to jump on Wednesday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.