NBA Picks for Pelicans vs. Clippers

Jason Lake

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 12:11 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 12:11 PM GMT

The New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Clippers are dealing with injuries as they prepare to meet Wednesday night at Staples Center. But the NBA lines have the healthier Clippers laying 10 points.

Jason’s record on his final NBA picks for 2013, up to December 16 inclusive:

25-25 ATS

5-5 Totals

Playing the second of back-to-back games is never easy. It’s even more difficult when you’re missing your best player – and one of the very best players in the NBA to boot. Anthony Davis (28.2 PER) remains out of commission for the New Orleans Pelicans as they get ready to face the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center, just one day after playing the Golden State Warriors in Oakland. The NBA betting lines have L.A. laying 10 points with a total of 206.5.

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Chicken Nuggets

You might recall I picked the Pelicans in last Sunday’s matchup against the Denver Nuggets. My reasoning at the time was that New Orleans was vulnerable to any team that could take advantage of the thinner Pelicans bench, but I didn’t want to pull the trigger on the Nuggets because they hadn’t been beating the NBA odds recently. Well, Denver got the duke, 102-93 as a 7.5-point home chalk.

The story was much the same on Tuesday night. The Pellies (11-12 SU, 9-13-1 ATS) went into Oracle Arena and left on the short end of a 104-93 final, with the Warriors cashing in as 9-point favorites. The Dubs were helped out by the return of Andre Iguodala, who played 17 minutes and gave coach Marc Jackson the chance to go nine-deep into his rotation with comfort. Meanwhile, with Tyreke Evans (16.5 PER) also missing both games with a sprained ankle, New Orleans coach Monty Williams found himself giving major minutes to PG Brian Roberts (12.4 PER) and SF Darius Miller (6.3 PER last year). They hit two of their 11 combined shots against Golden State.

I Think We Have a Clip

You might also recall I faded the Clippers in Monday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, and it was primarily because Los Angeles (17-9 SU, 15-11 ATS) was missing a bunch of players on the wings. Well, that pick was a flop, too. Tony Parker got injured for the Spurs (–3 at home), and the Clippers took advantage in a 115-92 victory. Swingman Jared Dudley (8.3 PER) came through for L.A. with 14 points and hit four of his six trey attempts; this was Dudley’s second quality game after an incredibly slow start to the 2013-14 campaign.

SG Willie Green (5.2 PER) was also able to play Monday despite having to wear a splint on his jammed left pinky finger, and Green was very effective off the bench with 11 points, including 3-of-4 from downtown. As well, SF Stephen Jackson was somewhat more useful in his fourth game as a Clipper, hitting three of his five shots and finishing the day at plus-21 in 17 minutes of action. Maybe L.A. has enough players to patch this hole in the lineup for now.

Gimme a Break

Since Wednesday’s matchup (10:30 p.m. ET) is one of those games where only one team is playing on zero days of rest, my first inclination is to recommend the rested team. But a quick tour of the Interwebs reveals that the Pelicans are 3-2 SU and 3-1-1 ATS this year when playing the second of back-to-back games. Yes, but can they keep that up without Davis, and perhaps without Evans? We’re still not sure at press time whether Evans will play, although the Pellies are expected to be cautious with this recurring injury.

I’m not inclined to get too fancy with this pick. The Clippers have been beating the NBA odds for the most part, they’re the rested team in this contest, and as much as I don’t like the 10 points, these guys are one of the very best teams in the Western Conference. Bring it on.

NBA Pick: Take the Clippers –10 at Youwager

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