Jason’s record on his early NBA picks for 2013-14, up to March 27 inclusive:
Maybe it’s karma for naming their arena after a smoothie stand. Whatever it is, the New Orleans Pelicans have had horrible luck with injuries this year. And things got even worse on Friday when Anthony Davis (27.0 PER), one of the very best players in the NBA, turned his left ankle just four minutes into a 102-95 victory over the Utah Jazz (+7 away). The Pellies won their fifth in a row despite the Davis injury, but the push snapped their ATS streak at four games.
At least they’re giving it the proverbial 110 percent no matter who’s in the lineup – the Pelicans would have to tank super-hard to keep their Top 5-protected first round pick, which will otherwise go to the Philadelphia 76ers as part of the Jrue Holiday deal. But it would help New Orleans immensely if Davis were able to suit up in Saturday’s game against the top team in the league, the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio is an 11.5-point chalk on the NBA betting lines with a total of 202.5.
As we go to press, the chances of Davis making an appearance on Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET) don’t look too good. Reports from the New Orleans dressing room had him listed as doubtful, and with nothing but pride left to play for this season, we might have seen the last of Davis for a while; he missed time last year with a stress reaction in the same left ankle. As always, make sure you get the latest injury updates before you bet on the NBA this weekend.
It’s not just Davis that we need to worry about. Here’s the rest of the New Orleans disabled list:
G Brian Roberts (13.8 PER), knee, QUESTIONABLE
G Eric Gordon (15.0 PER), knee, QUESTIONABLE
C Jason Smith (12.5 PER), knee, OUT
G Jrue Holiday (17.3 PER), tibia, OUT
F Ryan Anderson (19.0 PER), neck, OUT
Add the various injuries from earlier in the season, and New Orleans ranks No. 11 in the NBA in man-games lost at 131, according to the fine folks at Man Games Lost. It’s been a very rare event to see the Pellies (32-40 SU, 32-35-5 ATS) in full flight this year. And now they almost certainly won’t have a first-rounder in the loaded 2014 NBA Draft. Oh well. At least they still have Davis.
Speaking of building your franchise on the back of a can’t-miss No. 1 overall pick, the Spurs (56-16 SU, 39-33 ATS) have won four championships since Tim Duncan (21.4 PER) arrived in 1997, and the way they’re playing right now, they just might get him his fifth ring after all. San Antonio extended its winning streak to 16 games (12-4 ATS) on Friday with a thorough de-pantsing of the Denver Nuggets, 133-102 as a 7.5-point road chalk. Duncan had 20 points in 22 minutes. Marco Belinelli (15.4 PER) had 27 points in 29 minutes. It was a good de-pantsing, and thorough.
The Spurs aren’t quite at 100 percent – Danny Green (13.6 PER) hurt his foot earlier this week and sat out Friday’s win. But San Antonio is otherwise at its healthiest all season, and Belinelli’s 29 minutes were the most anyone had to play against the Nuggets. Throw in the extra travel time for the Pelicans, and this seems like an obvious place to pick San Antonio. Enjoy the ride while you can, and may the sphere be with you.
NBA Pick: Take the Spurs –11.5 (–108) at Titan Bet