Hoop Upset of the Day: Pelicans +3 the NBA Pick to Surprise Blazers

Charles Stark

Monday, December 14, 2015 12:28 PM GMT

As they continue to get healthy I think the New Orleans Pelicans going to start making some noise in the West, tonight they travel to Portland. Check our free NBA pick inside.

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NBA Pick: Pelicans +3
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

NBA odds have come out making New Orleans about a +3 underdog. For me though I'm going to forgo the plus points and for one of my selection today take them on the plus money line. It is simply good value on a team that is starting to come around despite their lack of success in Portland.

 

New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans is averaging 101.7 points per game shooting 44.3% from the field, and allowing 108.4 points per game on 46.3% shooting from the field. As a start to get healthy they will continue to become a more dangerous team, but the issue for them as evident to see is on the defensive end. Offensively they are clicking pretty well and I really like how Alvin Gentry continues to have his team push the pace averaging 85.6 field goal attempts per game which ranks eighth in the NBA. They also move the ball pretty well averaging 20 to assists per game and they have been decent beyond the arc averaging 35.3% making 8.8 three-pointers per contest. Defensively there are definitely concerns but I think with them starting to get healthy they will play better on this end of the floor. They rank in the middle to the bottom part of the league in most offensive categories, and last in scoring defense. They have been decent in limiting opponents rebounds per game and three-pointers attempted, but percentagewise across the board defensively they have been poor. This line does make me wonder a little bit why Portland isn't a bigger favorite, which is something to take into consideration and makes me want to side more with the odds makers.

 

Portland Trail Blazers
Portland is averaging 101.9 points per game while shooting 44.9% from the field, and allowing 102 points per game on 44% shooting from the field. With their current lineup and a record of 10-15 I actually think Portland has overachieved a bit this season so far, Damien Lillard has been tremendous. Offensively they have really been solid shooting the three at 35.6% making 9.6 per game which ranks sixth in the league. Also, they hit the boards hard averaging 54.7 per game which ranks fifth in the NBA, and they keep other teams off a glass at just 52.2 opponent rebounds per game. On the defensive side they have been subpar but have been decent statistically in some of the most important offensive categories. What they do particularly well is keeping teams from getting into transition but at the same time they don't get out in that aspect either. 

Earlier in the season Portland beat New Orleans at home by 18 so it really makes this game a head scratcher having the Pelicans just getting three points, even with the fact they are healthier. For one of your NBA picks I recommend taking New Orleans on the plus money line to pull the upset and continue to play better basketball this first half of the season.