Pelicans Need It, Warriors Don't So Take The Points & Go 'Under' With This NBA Pick

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 1:12 PM GMT

Tuesday, Apr. 7, 2015 1:12 PM GMT

If the Pelicans win out, they will be in the playoffs. Good luck with that, however, as a tough week for the team starts tonight vs. Golden State. Warriors are -5 on NBA odds with a total of 205. 

Pelicans Control Own Destiny
New Orleans (41-35) is a half game behind Oklahoma City for the West's final playoff spot but would win the tiebreaker with the Thunder thanks to a 3-1 edge in the season series. So, as noted, simply win the final six games and the Pelicans will be in the postseason for the first time since the 2010-11 season back when the then-Hornets still had Chris Paul. They would play these Warriors in the first round. I highly doubt New Orleans will win out, though. Following this game it goes to Memphis on Wednesday, hosts Phoenix on Friday, visits Houston on Sunday, is at Minnesota on Monday and then hosts San Antonio on April 15 to close things out. Maybe the Spurs have nothing to play for by then.

The Pelicans had a four-game winning streak snapped Saturday in Portland, 99-90. Anthony Davis struggled a bit, shooting 8-for-20 from the field for 19 points. He also had nine rebounds and four blocks. The team continues to hold out hope that point guard Jrue Holiday will make it back from a stress reaction injury in his lower right leg, but that's starting to look more and more doubtful. Coach Monty Williams did acknowledge Monday that he thought almost three weeks ago that Holiday would be back in the lineup by now. Holiday hasn't played since Jan. 12 so he obviously would need some time to get back into rhythm and game shape. He has been running through drills on the court and participating in limited two-on-two scrimmages for the past two weeks. That trade of Nerlens Noel and a 2014 first-round pick for Holiday from Philadelphia during the 2013 draft is turning into a disaster. Can you  imagine if the Pelicans had Noel protecting the basket alongside Davis? Holiday is the younger brother of Golden State forward Justin Holiday.

On the season, the Pelicans are 42-34 against the NBA betting odds spread and 40-36 'over/under.'

 

Warriors Can Sit Back, Relax
Golden State (63-14) has absolutely nothing left to play for during the regular season as it will be the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs -- bad news for the rest of the field considering the Warriors are a crazy 35-2 at home.

I wonder if the Warriors might be rather flat here as they come off a 107-92 loss in San Antonio on Sunday that ended Golden State's 12-game winning streak. It honestly wasn't even that close. It was the first time the Warriors were held under 100 points since March 9. Steph Curry had 24 points but the Warriors were minus-16 with him on the court. Klay Thompson had one of his worst games, going just 3-for-11 from the field for six points. That would be my main concern with this team: it lives and dies on jumpers, largely from 3-point land. Golden State hit only 9-for-28 from long range against San Antonio, which won its 32nd in a row at home in the series. Reserve guard Shaun Livingston sat it out due to suspension but will be back here.

Coach Steve Kerr continues to say he's not going to bench his key players for full games, but he is certainly limiting their minutes. I doubt you see Curry, Draymond Green, Thompson or Andrew Bogut play more than 30 minutes in any game the rest of the regular season.

The Warriors are 46-30-1 against the spread this season and 36-41 'over/under.'

Here's another capper's take on tonight's Warriors vs. Pelicans matchup

Season Series
Golden State leads 3-0 and has won 10 straight against New Orleans. The two games this season in Oakland were each won by at least 16 points. They last played there March 20, a 112-96 final. Thompson sat that one out with an injured ankle. Harrison Barnes led the way with 22 points. Curry was off, shooting just 4-for-17. The one matchup in New Orleans was close, a 128-122 overtime win for the Warriors in December. The Pelicans, who were without Davis, led by eight with 4:16 left. Tyreke Evans missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer in regulation. Curry finished with 34 points, including eight in the overtime. Thompson added 29 in what was the Warriors' 16th straight win at the time. Bogut also sat out. Evans scored 34 points for the Pelicans before fouling out with three minutes left in the OT. Holiday had 30 points.

NBA Free Picks: For this NBA pick I'm taking the points -- just not sure how into this game the Warriors will be. There's no doubting the motivation of New Orleans. Go 'under' the total. It has hit in six of the past eight meetings.  

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