Warriors Seek First Win at Pelicans, but Best Bet Is on Total

Jay Pryce

Friday, October 20, 2017 12:54 PM UTC

Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 12:54 PM UTC

The Golden State Warriors look to continue their dominance over the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center Friday night (9:30 ET). The Dubs, laying 8.5 points, have won 21 of the last 22 meetings.

Free NBA Pick: Under 221Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Golden State Warriors at New Orleans Pelicans (+8.5)

New Orleans is the first stop of a three-game road trip for the Warriors. Odds are, they’ll get off to a good start. Since December 2012, Golden State is 21-1 SU and 12-9-1 ATS in the matchup, winning by 10.6 points per game. The lone loss occurred late in the 2014-15 regular season, New Orleans sporting a 42-35 record en route to its only playoff appearance in the last seven years. The Warriors swept the Pelicans in the first round. Power forward Draymond Green proved instrumental in the series, recording the top plus/minus figure in three of the four wins.

The Warriors hope to have Green available for the meeting Friday night. Officials upgraded his status to probable after an MRI revealed no structural damage to his injured left knee. The All-Star hit the deck in the closing seconds of the third quarter in a 122-121 season-opening home loss to the Rockets on Tuesday after landing awkwardly following a drive to the hoop. Golden State missed his presence immensely in the fourth quarter, Houston outscoring the reigning NBA champions 34-20 to close out the contest.

The Pelicans lost their season-opener 103-91 at the Grizzlies on Wednesday night. Three of New Orleans' first four games to begin the year are against returning Western Conference playoff teams. Despite battling strep throat during the week, center Anthony Davis recorded 33 points and 18 rebounds in the loss. The four-time All-Star received two IV treatments prior to the matchup. One has to believe he’s not quite 100 percent for the Warriors' visit.

DeMarcus Cousins can help pick up the slack. The pair is arguably the best 1-2 frontcourt duo in the NBA. Combined, they went for 61 points, 28 rebounds, and eight blocks in Memphis. “Boogie” averages 19.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 24 played against the Warriors lifetime.

The Rockets defeat was just the ninth time the Warriors have lost as home favorites since head coach Steve Kerr took over in 2014. They’re 7-2 SU and ATS in the follow-up effort. Both losses came in pair of games Golden State tipped off less than 5-point chalk. It opened as a 6.5-point favorite against New Orleans, the line adjusting to -8.5 in early trading. The Warriors are 5-1 ATS in this spot when laying 6 points or more.

If the Pelicans are to pull off a shocker, they’re going to have to match the Dubs from the 3-point area. The Warriors got off to a hot start from behind the arc, draining 16 of 30 in the Rockets defeat. New Orleans, meanwhile, shot just seven of 25 from behind the 3-point line. The Pelicans struggled mightily coming off a cold game from the area last season, going 6-14 SU and ATS when shooting 30 percent or less. They averaged 101.7 points per game.

The Dubs also have a history of keeping cold-shooting 3-point teams grounded. Under Kerr, they allow 104.0 points per game in road tilts vs. foes with a losing record draining 30 percent or fewer from behind the arc last time out.

There are several signals pointing to the Pelicans scoring 110 points or fewer Friday night. This should automatically trigger “under” bettors. In 2016, the bet went 51-17-2 when Warriors opponents failed to reach this mark. The average total is 219.6 points. For you parlay players, Golden State also went 40-27-3 ATS here.

All in all, the Pelicans struggled with ball movement, spacing and balance in the Grizzlies defeat. This is the wrong team and the wrong spot to work out the kinks. We’re sticking with the total wager solely for our pick. Play ‘under’ 221 for your best bet. 

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