NBA Betting: New Orleans Pelicans to Make the Playoffs?

Jordan Sharp

Friday, September 13, 2013 5:37 PM GMT

Friday, Sep. 13, 2013 5:37 PM GMT

The Pelicans may be one of the most improved and undervalued teams in the NBA Odds this offseason, as they have made two huge trades this offseason to put them in a position to make the Western Conference playoffs.

Let’s take a brief look at their moves, and then examine their future odds. Although it may not have value in itself, it may be a preview as to how the sportsbooks value the Pelicans on a game-to-game, ATS basis this season.

Sportsbooks with the best prices on 2013-14 NBA Futures

Future Odds (+10,000)

The markets have yet to react too much to the Pelicans offseason acquisitions. They are now a fierce defensive unit, both on the ball and at the rim, and if Eric Gordon is healthy and producing, it gives them a valuable scorer, or an even more valuable trade chip. His contract is an issue, as he has three years and $45 million left on the deal, but from a betting perspective, this team is going to have a lot of value as underdogs in our NBA Picks this season. They may still however be a few seasons away from actually becoming contenders.

Transactions

I’m not sure which one of these trades was the most important, nor do I know which one is the better deal. They both are that good. The Pelicans started the offseason at the draft, where picked Nerlens Noel 6th, and right after everyone got done talking about how good he would fit next to Anthony Davis, Noel was shipped to Philadelphia. However they brought back all star point guard, Jrue Holiday. 

Obviously we have to wait and see who and where the Sixers get that 1st round pick next June, because after this next trade was made, the Pelicans may have jumped from the basement into one of those final Western Conference playoff seeds.

A three-team swap between the Pelicans, Blazers and Kings also netted New Orleans Tyreke Evans this offseason. The price to be paid was giving up Greivis Vasquez, but with Holiday onboard, Vasquez was a valuable and expendable asset. They also lost Robin Lopez, and even though he was also expendable, the Pelicans will have to get more rim protection from the young, Anthony Davis. Lopez averaged almost 2 blocks per game last season. The Pelicans also acquired Greg Stiemsma to help fill the big man void.

Don’t talk about playoffs

Instead, maybe we should talk about the Pelicans flying into the Western Conferencs playoffs. After the first five or six teams in the West, there is a drop off where teams like the Pelicans, Mavericks, Wolves and Blazers will likely be fighting for the final two-playoff spots. Of all four of these teams, the Pelicans might have the best or second best team on paper.

It all comes down to if Monty Williams can put it all together. They should be one of the top 10-12 defensive teams in the NBA with Holiday, Gordon and Evans likely playing in a three-guard line up, with Anthony Davis protecting the rim. Don’t sleep on the Pelicans in your day-to-day sports picks this upcoming season.

They do play in a very tough division. However if you recall, this division was all above .500 ATS for most of last season, and in 2013 three teams in the division made the playoffs. With the improvements of the Pelicans, Mavs and Rockets, to go along with Memphis and San Antonio, this division rivals the Central in the East for toughest division in basketball. That may work to bettors' advantage however, because they could be slight home underdogs when they shouldn’t be this season. My bold statement of the day is, all five teams in this division will make the playoffs.
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