Possible First-Round Preview
The Western Conference playoffs and Play-In has been crazy, with the New Orleans Pelicans seemingly out of contention two weeks ago and now the ninth seed. The one constant has been the Denver Nuggets being the best team, remaining the top seed with seven games remaining. The teams will meet in a possible first-round playoff preview on Thursday.
In the Pelicans’ last game, their five-game win streak ended against the Golden State Warriors, losing 120-109 on Tuesday, despite a 17-point lead at halftime. After a slight drop in production, the Nuggets are back on track, having won four straight, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 116-111 on Monday.
Pelicans Back in Playoff Hunt
It seemed like the Pelicans’ NBA playoffs odds had dwindled recently, sitting in 12th place on March 20th. However, they suddenly find themselves half a game from dropping out of the Play-In, and if the regular season ended today, they would only be two wins away from being the eighth seed.
NBA Player Of The Week BRANDON INGRAM scored 29 in the Pelicans’ 5th straight win!
BI is averaging 30 PTS (54% FG) & 8.6 AST during the win streak. pic.twitter.com/hN39RTGZ8i
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) March 28, 2023
With NBA news still flirting with the idea of All-Star Zion Williamson returning for the Play-In/Playoffs, Brandon Ingram is the main reason the team could even make it that far. Ingram has been dominant over the last seven games, averaging 29.4 points with 50-40-90 shooting splits, adding eight assists. He won the most recent Western Conference Player of the Week award.
On top of that, the Pelicans have hit their stride, especially on defense. New Orleans has sneakily been a solid defensive team, eighth in points allowed per game and fifth in defensive rating on the season. Furthermore, the defensive effort has been elevated recently. During the five-game win streak, the Pelicans had a defensive rating of 98.4.
Nuggets Gearing Up for Long Playoff Run
The Nuggets had recently hit a slump, losing five of six games, which continued into the start of five straight on the road. But Denver ended the road trip winning the final two games, then beating two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks and 76ers, at home.
Those two wins have seemingly revived the Nuggets’ NBA odds. While they might not be the favorites in the West, it is hard to count out the team that will likely have the best record in the conference. Especially when they just beat the No.1 team in the East, the Bucks, 129-106. The win over the 76ers was less impressive, with them missing their two leading scorers, but beating a tough opponent is still a confidence builder.
Nikola Jokic put up ANOTHER triple-double in the Nuggets’ win over the Sixers 😵💫
Would the Joker get your MVP vote? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/GAQHRqTO4G
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 28, 2023
The two wins also definitely helped Nikola Jokić’s NBA lines for winning his third straight MVP. His two main competitors play for the Bucks and 76ers, and Jokić played well in both games. He had 31 points with 11 assists against the Bucks, then 25, 12, and 17 rebounds for a triple-double facing the 76ers.
Pelicans vs Nuggets Game Injuries
Pelicans vs Nuggets Head-to-Head
This will be the fourth and final matchup between the Pelicans and Nuggets. The Pelicans won the first game 121-106 on Dec. 4. The Nuggets won the next two meetings, which were played on Jan. 24 and 31, with each team having a home game.
Pelicans vs Nuggets Game Information
- Game: Pelicans (38-38) vs Nuggets (51-24)
- Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
- Day/Time: Thursday, March 30, 10:00 p.m. EST
- Pelicans vs Nuggets Live stream: NBA Game Pass
Pelicans vs Nuggets Betting Lines
Pelicans vs Nuggets Picks and Prediction
The Nuggets are playing great, putting their little slump behind them. It is hard not to go with them for NBA picks given how good they have been, along with the team getting prepared to have a long playoff run.
On the other hand, the Pelicans have also been playing great, but against easier opponents. When facing a good team, like the Warriors, they struggled, which could be a similar situation when facing the Nuggets.
The Denver Nuggets are listed at -250 in our Vegas NBA odds. This means that if you wager $100 on the Nuggets, you have a chance to win $40. The New Orleans Pelicans are +205, offering a chance to win $205 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Denver Nuggets a 71.43% chance to win, with the New Orleans Pelicans at 32.79%.
Pelicans vs Nuggets Trends
Pelicans vs Nuggets Edge
Pelicans vs Nuggets Results
Pelicans vs Nuggets Game Summary
Pelicans vs Nuggets Previous ( Jan. 31, 2023)
The Nuggets beat the Pelicans earlier last week, and it looks like they should be able to do that again here. They’re favored in the sportsbook, but the number will fluctuate depending on who is in and who is out for New Orleans.
The Pelicans’ offense has completely disappeared of late, and if Ingram and/or McCollum are out, they’ll have a really tough time. They are just 9-16 on the road and are likely to fall to 9-17 after this. Lay the points with the Nuggets for your NBA picks.