The NBA odds should not sleep on New Orleans, but let’s take a brief look back on their 2012-2013 season, to better understand why they have been wheeling and dealing this summer. Should they make your sports picks this upcoming season?
The then-Hornets finished the season 27-55 SU and well into the basement of the Western conference. Only four teams had a worse record than the Hornets last season, but they had an average finish ATS, going 40-42 on the season. They were slightly undervalued last season the few times they were favored, but I think that may be a similar path to value for them next year. The sportsbooks could easily not favor them enough in certain games.
One of the biggest reasons for this terrible 2012-2013 was the health of Eric Gordon, as well as their #1 overall pick in last year’s draft, Anthony Davis. Gordon was limited to only 42 games on the season, and now his contract has seemingly become an albatross for this team. Davis is the exact opposite, as he is definitely in the long-term plans for the Pelicans. However, he too was limited by a couple of different injuries, as he missed 18 games last season.
With the loss of these two important players and their respective 30 points per game, the Hornets were 25th in the NBA in scoring, but even without their best defender -Davis for 18 games- they still finished with modest numbers defensively, something I expect them to be much better at this upcoming season after the two trades they made. I think this will shift them back to the Hornets of 2011-2012, who went 35-29-2 cashing the under in the lockout year.
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I’m not sure which one of these trades was the biggest, nor do I know which one is the better deal. They both are that good. They 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 Davis, Noel was shipped to Philadelphia. However it seems on all fronts that the Pelicans got the better deal, as they landed All-Star point guard, Jrue Holiday from the Sixers for Noel and a 2014 1st round pick.
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. That would be advantage: Pelicans.
The next trade was a three-team swap, which ultimately was headlined by Tyreke Evans and Jeff Withey heading to New Orleans for Greivis Vasquez, Robin Lopez and Terrell Harris. The Blazers gave up some 2nd round picks and got back Lopez and Harris, while the Kings made out nice as well getting Portland’s picks as well as Vasquez who will likely start for Sacramento.
Evans is the king of this deal and in a vastly re-vamped backcourt, Evans can either start or come off the bench and be successful in New Orleans. If Gordon can come back and give the team 20 points per game, the Pelicans will make the playoffs.
Future Odds update
The NBA odds markets have not yet reacted to all of the offseason moves from the Pelicans, as they still sit at +10,000 to win the NBA Title at Bet365. This number will drop some as the season approaches, but the West has shifted its’ power a lot this season, and New Orleans, with a best lineup of Holiday, Gordon, Evans, Ryan Anderson and Davis, could easily slip into the 8th seed this year.
They are now a fierce defensive unit, both on the ball and at the rim, and if 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.
The 2013-14 NBA season is just a few short months away. Join the discussion now!