Spurs versus Pelicans Predictions and Picks: Poor Practice for San Antonio

Spurs versus Pelicans Predictions and Picks Poor Practice for San Antonio

Six of the San Antonio Spurs’ top seven scorers may be missing for tonight’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans in the Big Easy.

Some of San Antonio’s most important players are sidelined with injuries or rest, and others are doubtful. Because of the depleted roster, the opening line for this game swiftly jumped from New Orleans -8 to -13 on Tuesday morning.

The Spurs appear to be in full tank mode, but the Pels continue to fight for a playoff spot. During the All-Star break, New Orleans’s record has gone 4-8 SU and ATS, putting them in last place in the Western Conference and one game outside of the play-in round.

For the Spurs and Pelicans game on March 21, I break down the changes to the spread and Over/Under total and provide my best NBA choices and predictions.

Spurs vs Pelican’s picks and predictions

At first, I planned to wager on tonight’s point prop for Keldon Johnson, as he appeared to be the only starter for a Spurs team resting virtually all of its key players. They eventually seated him down as well.

As San Antonio is down to its final few players, I expect backup forward Malaki Branham to see significant playing time and improve upon his 4.5 rebounds (Over +110).

Since the beginning of February, Branham has become a lot more aggressive player on the glass, averaging 4.2 rebounds per game. His March minutes have continued to increase in line with this trend. Branham has grabbed at least five rebounds in four of his seven games this month, including six in his starting role last Friday against Memphis.

Even before the loss of reserve center Charles Bassey earlier this month, San Antonio’s frontcourt was short-handed. It will miss Zach Collins, Jeremy Sochan, Devin Vassell, and Keldon Johnson tonight. That eliminates five of the team’s top rebounders from tonight’s game.

Given that Branham will play significant minutes and won’t have to compete with the Spurs’ best glass cleaners, his rebounding average appears modest. Branham has gone Over his rebounding prop in three consecutive games and seven of his 10 previous appearances.

Spurs vs Pelicans spread analysis

New Orleans is a -8 home chalk against San Antonio on Tuesday after splitting a pair of games in Houston.

When the Spurs announced they would be sitting starters Zach Collins, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, and Jeremy Sochan and designating Devonte’ Graham as questionable, the market shifted dramatically to as much as Pelicans -13 early on Tuesday morning.

After a terrible stretch of games since the All-Star break, New Orleans has been eliminated from the play-in round and is desperate for a victory. This is only the seventh home game in the last 16 for the Pelicans, dating back to February 13. This is a big reason why they have struggled over the past two months.

NOLA has a +4.5 net rating at home and a -3.1 on the road, with a 22-13 SU record as hosts and a 16-19 ATS record. The Pelicans’ defense benefits the most from playing in front of their home crowd in the Big Easy, as their 110.8 rating at home ranks 11th in the NBA and they hold opponents to 110.2 points per game, six fewer than they do on the road.

Even with all of their players available, San Antonio could be better, so they’ll have to dig pretty deep to win tonight. The Spurs have been on a roll recently, and if it weren’t for overtime defeats to Memphis and Dallas last week, they may be riding a four-game winning streak (3-1 ATS).

San Antonio’s already shaky attack might lose as much as 78% of its scoring prowess tonight if many key players are ruled out or doubtful. The Spurs have a miserable 11-22 ATS record while traveling and rank 29th in offensive rating, averaging less than 111 points a game.

Spurs vs. Pelicans Over/Under Analysis

With most of San Antonio’s starting players on the bench, the Over/Under has also been significantly reworked. As of Tuesday midday, this total had risen as high as 235.5 points before falling.

With the players now listed as out or uncertain, the Spurs may need more than 88 points in scoring averages. Even at full strength, San Antonio isn’t really threatening in scoring, and they have serious problems scoring on the road.

When it comes to defense, San Antonio is just as awful as their attack. When on the road, the Spurs allow the most points in the NBA at 124.3 per game. Not the zombie squad Pop will bring out tonight, but the usual lineup again. Their bench is among the best in the league in terms of minutes played (19.9) and points scored (42.1) per game. What that means is…

At the Smoothie King Center, NOLA locks down defensively and enjoys a slight uptick in offensive output, scoring slightly over 114 points per game. As of late January, the Pelicans have been one of the best Under bets in the NBA. In that time, they have gone 8-17 Against the Spread (ATS), including 3-9 ATS during the All-Star break.

There were three meetings between these Western Conference rivals in November and December, but that was before the new year. Despite the fact that the Spurs’ roster has changed since the trade deadline, New Orleans has won all three of those meetings with an Over/Under record of 2-1. Check out the latest NBA betting odds for the upcoming game.

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