Extra Rest Makes Blazers the Right Pick vs. Pelicans on Thursday

Jason Lake

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 5:56 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 5:56 PM UTC

The New Orleans Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers are both off to hot starts, but the rested Blazers are the right NBA pick for Thursday’s matchup on the Left Coast.

Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Oct. 31: 2-2 ATS, 1-1 Totals

New Orleans at PortlandThursday, 10:30 p.m. ET (TNT)Free NBA Pick: Trail Blazers ATS (TBA)Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Welcome back to the ranch. We’re here to serve up another spicy NBA pick, although it’s going to be extra-challenging today: The New Orleans Pelicans (4-2 SU and ATS at press time) visit the Portland Trail Blazers (5-2 SU and ATS) on Thursday, but they also play Wednesday night in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors. A lot of things could happen at Oracle Arena that would have an impact on Thursday’s game.

Thursday’s Pelicans-Blazers numbers had not hit the NBA odds board at press time. No worries; we’re going to recommend the Trail Blazers blind, because they don’t play Wednesday, and that extra day of rest should give them a generic betting edge over the travel-weary Pelicans. Whether or not you should place that bet will depend on a number of factors – two of which we’ll tell you about right now.

What Can 'Brow Do for You?

The biggest question mark – and he’s really big – is Pelicans PF Anthony Davis (plus-12.4 BPM). He’s one of this year’s early MVP candidates, but Davis has also missed back-to-back games with a sprained elbow, and he was considered questionable to face the Warriors heading into Wednesday’s shoot-around. You may already know his availability for Golden State by the time you read this – and it looks like he might play:

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Anthony Davis is getting up shots with the team here at Pelicans shootaround. He'll be speaking with the media shortly pic.twitter.com/sBno0kMOiB

— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) October 31, 2018
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Will he play in Portland? Even if he’s healthy enough for Wednesday, the Pelicans could give him Thursday off for maintenance. You’ll definitely want to wait until Thursday’s shoot-around and see what the plan is before placing your bets, but again, generically speaking, the Blazers might be a better pick if Davis does suit up. Casual bettors tend to over-estimate the value of players vis-a-vis their back-ups, and the Pellies can hand extra minutes to Julius Randle (plus-1.8 BPM) should Davis sit this one out.

One Guy Named Moe

The Blazers are relatively healthy. Swingman Moe Harkless (plus-2.6 BPM) is day-to-day with a sore left knee that has cost him the past two games, but Portland has ample depth on the wing, and they won both those games SU and ATS. Unlike Davis, Harkless doesn’t have the name recognition to move the betting needle in this matchup; if he plays Thursday and he isn’t too gimpy, Portland’s chances of covering should increase slightly.

As always, in addition to waiting for the shoot-around to see who might sit out, you should compare the projections for this game (FiveThirtyEight has Portland pegged as a 3-point favorite) to the betting odds once they’re available. Don’t forget about those important referee assignments, either. But we’re anticipating you’ll find value on Portland’s side, given the extra work and travel the Pellies are putting in.

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