As part of our daily serving of NBA Picks on the Plus-Money underdogs, we will continue to roll with the New Orleans Pelicans to upset the Memphis Grizzlies tonight. They paid off well against the Warriors last night.
I had New Orleans against Golden State yesterday and I am going to ride them again today. The NBA odds makers have come out with Memphis as a -5 favorite, but I like the Pelicans to win this game straight up. Memphis is locked into the playoffs and is using this game as a tune up to get ready for the post season. New Orleans is still trying to hang on to a playoff spot and every game the rest of the way is important to them. They should be confident coming into this contest having won six of the last eight against Memphis. It concerns me a bit they are coming off a back to back, but I still think they have caught Memphis in a pretty good spot, not entirely motivated, and most likely without Green. Also, New Orleans has shot 45% from the field on the year on the second game of a back to back, and 37% from beyond the arc in this scenario. A very motivated Pelicans team that knows they can win this game provides a lot of value to take them on the plus money line for my NBA picks.
Must Continue to Shoot Well
Recently the Pelicans have been playing very good basketball. Last night they erased a 12 point deficit at half against the best team in the league, not a small task. In the last three games they are shooting just below 47% from the field and just above 49% from beyond the arc. They are shooting the ball more often and making more this past week than their season average. Memphis has been slumping a bit lately but they are still shooting about their average for the year this past week at around 45%. From beyond the arc in the last three games they have been brutal shooting only 22% in that time frame, this is the worst ranked in the league. Defensively in the last three games both the Grizzlies and the Pelicans are playing pretty solidly ranked in the upper half of the league in shooting percentage against (Memphis at 43.1% and the Pelicans at 44.9%). Much like the game last night I think this game comes down to is how hard Memphis is really going to get after New Orleans on defense. They are one of the best defenses in the league, but the Pelicans have some nice offensive sets and have been shooting the three very well, my prediction is the Grizzlies will not bring their normal intensity.
New Orleans is moving the ball and not turning the ball over as much as normal. They are averaging more assists the past three games than their yearly average and they are turning the ball over less than they normally do in this same time frame (leading the league at only 9.3 per game compared to their 13.5 average). Memphis has been contrary to their averages on the year, in the last three games they have had less assists than their yearly average and more turnovers than average.
Memphis is trying to get things right before the playoffs while New Orleans controls their own fate. Although the Pelicans are coming off of no rest I think they are rolling right now and should come into this contest with a ton of confidence to pull off the upset. Winning in Memphis is never easy the Grizzlies are not playing well there this past month with a pedestrian 5-4 mark at home since the beginning of March. Take the Pelicans to shock them this game.
NBA Pick: New Orleans +185 at 5Dimes