Defensive Woes Will Help Send 76ers-Pelicans Clash 'Over' Monday

Sunday, February 24, 2019 8:19 PM UTC

Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019 8:19 PM UTC

Will Philadelphia, playing again without Joel Embiid, be able to dispatch New Orleans? Or, regardless of that, is it best to look at the totals market for your NBA picks?

Jordan’s NBA picks record: 38-18

Philadelphia (38-22 SU, 28-32 ATS) at New Orleans (27-34 SU, 29-31-1 ATS)

Monday, 8 p.m. ET (NBA-TV)
Free NBA Pick: Over
Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Without Joel Embiid for the third straight game because of a sore right knee, the 76ers are only slight road favorites for Monday's night game at New Orleans. Meanwhile, the Pelicans are coming off a big win against the Lakers without their own star player.

Anthony Davis Dilemma

The Pelicans were able to dispatch the struggling Lakers over the weekend without star Anthony Davis, who has requested a trade. Even though Davis will be back in the lineup on Monday, he is not expected to play big minutes. The Pelicans have also recently announced that Jrue Holiday is expected to see his minutes decreased over the last seven weeks of the season.

With that in mind, the Pelicans are looking towards playing some of their younger players down the stretch. Guys such as Kenrich Williams have been playing big minutes and it has made the Pelicans’ defense start to suffer some.

In February the Pelicans are giving up 112.3 points per 100 possessions, and over their last four games it has gone up to 113.7 per 100 possessions.

Even without Embiid, the Sixers are going to be able to do some damage offensively against this Swiss cheese defense. Combined with the break-neck pace this game should be played at and this game should be one of the highest-scoring contests of the night.

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Combined 51 PTS from @Jrue_Holiday11 (27) & @J30_RANDLE (24) leads the @PelicansNBA over LAL! #DoItBig pic.twitter.com/aegVLIPy2Z

— NBA (@NBA) February 24, 2019
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The Sharp Pick

Even though the lack of Embiid has limited the Sixers some, having Boban Marjanovic on the team has really helped keep their upside offensively. The newest member of the Sixers, along with his best friend forever, Tobias Harris, probably made the decision to sit down Embiid easier.

Both have played really well over the last two games without Embiid and while they got blown out against the Blazers, this game should have a different outcome.

However, I could see both teams scoring easily against one another. The Sixers are giving up 110 points per 100 possessions on the road and without Embiid to check Anthony Davis, I could see Davis and Julius Randle abusing the Sixers’ defense.

On the flip side, the Pelicans have been playing faster and faster lately, so if they dictate the pace of this game, we could see one or both of these teams upwards of 120 points. The Sixers have allowed 112.2 points per game over their last five road games, while the Pelicans are averaging 123.3 points per game over their last three and 117.3 points over their last four home games.

New Orleans is also 6-4 cashing the "over" as a home dog this season, so their undervalued position should help this one be a high-scoring game.

Final score prediction: Pelicans 121, 76ers 119

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