Defenses Rest as Pelicans, Magic Shoot Past Total

Jordan Sharp

Friday, December 22, 2017 5:25 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 22, 2017 5:25 PM UTC

The New Orleans Pelicans are in Orlando to face a banged-up Magic team as only -5½ favorites. While laying the points is very attractive, the 219½ total is much more appealing because of how bad these two defenses are.

NBA Friday: Pelicans vs. Magic

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Free NBA Pick: Over 219½Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

New Orleans has been struggling, but a trip to Orlando against a Magic team likely without their two best players is just what the doctor ordered. The Pelicans have lost three of their last four and five of their last eight games SU, and they’ve been doing it with little defense.

New Orleans is allowing 119 points per game over their last five games, and they are allowing close to that much in 10 December games. With a defensive rating of 110.6 points allowed per 100 possessions, the Magic seem to have a nice offensive floor regardless of who is on and off the court.

The Magic have lost six straight games, and while they are averaging only about 100 points per game during that stretch, they also have played against some stiff defensive competition, especially at home. As we’ve discussed, the Pelicans are not that. If Orlando can hit some shots, I think 105 or more points is a nice floor for them. On the other side, the Pelicans might have a ceiling of 125 points if Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins go off.

Orlando and New Orleans are playing at paces of 100 possessions per game, so just by averages alone, these two teams have at least a combined 215 points in them. As long as we can get another five on top of that, I like this total to go over.

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