Our plus money line upset takes us to Milwaukee as we look to back the New Orleans Pelicans in this matchup of probable playoff contenders. Read more here as to why you should add the Pelicans to your NBA picks.
Post All-Star Break
The NBA odds makers have opened up this game with the Bucks being a -2 favorite. With their equal record as the Pelicans and playing at home it makes some sense, but these two teams are not playing equally right now. Since the break Milwaukee has been very bad on the offensive side of the ball shooting at a league worst 42.3% from the field. In that same time span they are also the leading the league in turnover average at 17.7 a game, I still don’t know why they traded Brandon Knight. The Pelicans on the other hand have been shooting extremely well since the break leading the league at 46.9%from the floor and 36% from beyond the arc. The last three games New Orleans is playing solid shooting 45% although they haven’t been scoring at the normal clip they are used to. Defensively the last three games the Pelicans have been a bit better than the Bucks allowing 44% shooting from the field compared to Milwaukee at 43%. One good point that should be interesting is that the Bucks have been on fire behind the arc the last three games at 43% despite their overall poor shooting. In that span New Orleans is in the upper half of the league in defending the three allowing opponents a 34% average.
More After the Break
New Orleans is starting to look more and more like a Western Conference playoff team. Since the break they are 7-3 (although most of those games have been at home). The Bucks are 3-6 since the break and have just been a shell of the team they were with Knight. They are coming off a win against Washington but that was without Beal or Humphries. Another key difference we feel is ball movement which often leads to good looks through assists. Milwaukee has gone since the break from an average of 24 a game to 21 while the Pelicans have gone up from 21.6 to 23 per game average. There is just a difference with how the Bucks are playing now than before the break which is evident by their league worst 88.6 point average in these past weeks.
Better on Defense
The stats might make better sense if Milwaukee had ramped things up on the defensive end. But the Pelicans are playing better than them in that aspect. The past three games allowing a 92.7 opponent scoring average compared to the Bucks 97.7 and a better opponent field goal average allowing 43.1% from the floor compared to Milwaukee’s 44.6%.
As mentioned, we can still see why the Bucks are favored, mostly because they are at home and they do play well there. But we think the better team going into this contest is New Orleans so we will gladly back them on the plus money line for your NBA picks.
NBA Pick: New Orleans plus money line at 5Dimes