This NBA handicapper points out important betting trends between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Cavaliers, who face off tonight in Cleveland.
I’m rich! In the topsy-turvy world of the NBA, the New Orleans’ franchise changed their name to the “Pelicans” last year which allowed their former name of “Hornets” to return to their rightful owner in Charlotte. Guess what I found while rummaging through my closet for winter jackets? An original Charlotte Hornets, quilted pullover, with front zip pocket and embroidered logo on the back! It comes, of course, in the original purple and green combo! Surely, along with my autographed Brett Favre jersey, I am rich! My opinion is that such will be the case for those placing NBA picks on New Orleans this season.
Pelican backers struggled through a 15-23 ATS road log last year. Numerous injuries and a lack of cohesion resulted in a 34-48 record. They were nowhere near sniffing the playoffs. Combined with a record that saw them go 27-55 the year before and 21-45 in the strike-shortened season of 2012, this team appeared to have little to offer. Nothing could be further from the truth! Witness the 100-99 upset of defending champion, San Antonio, on Saturday night. That pushed their season record to 3-2 SU ATS and was an indication they are legit! Emerging big man, Anthony Davis, is the superstar. Against the Spurs, he had a line of 27/11 with 6 blocks and 4 steals. For the year, Davis is averaging 24/13 with 4.4 blocks per game. The Pelicans are among the leaders in the NBA with 48 paint points per game. The clever interior moves of new acquisition, Omar Asik, compliment the paint patrolling of Davis. A now healthy perimeter featuring PG Holiday, E. Gordon and Ty Evans works beautifully to complement this interior duo. They are a more cohesive group than tonight’s higher-profile foe.
Under the watchful eye of 1st year Cleveland HC Blatt, the Cavs are struggling to find cohesion and identity. One should not get too excited about the 110-101 victory against the Denver Nuggets on Friday night, in which they finally got their act together with a 25/9 A/TO ratio. That victory came against the 1-5 SU ATS Nuggets. Clearly, it is taking a while for superstar James and PG Irving to learn how to coexist with one basketball. Then there has to be enough touches for high-scoring, newly acquired, Kevin Love. Adding new pieces, Marion, Miller, and Jones, only complicates the issue. No surprise to see the Cavs in contention for a title come springtime. But right now, there is a strong case to be made that they are not the better team on the floor tonight. New Orleans, in fact, is 6-1 SU and 3-0 SU in this series.
Free NBA Picks: Pelicans +190