The Denver Nuggets currently hold the fifth spot in the Western Conference playoff race and have strengthened their ranks. Denver made two aggressive trades ahead of the deadline by acquiring JaVale McGee from Cleveland and Aaron Gordon from Orlando. The Nuggets had already won 10-of-14 before completing these trades, and are poised to make a deep postseason run.
Meanwhile, the New Orleans Pelicans are in the West’s 12-hole and have a lot of work to do. The Pelicans possess a talented young core of players but haven’t yet managed to turn the corner. New Orleans hopes to build some positive momentum with a home win against Denver on Friday night.
The BetUS sportsbook rates the Pelicans as slight underdogs vs the Nuggets, according to updated NBA odds. New Orleans sports a 13-10 record at Smoothie King Center, while Denver is 14-9 on the road. Let’s dig a little deeper to uncover the hidden betting gems that exist within this matchup.
Denver Nuggets at New Orleans Pelicans
Friday, March 26 at 8 p.m. EST on NBA League Pass
Smoothie King Center- New Orleans, LA
NBA Betting Vitals
Point Spread: Nuggets -2½ , Pelicans +2½
Money Line: Nuggets -135, Pelicans +115
Total Points: 231½
Nuggets at Pelicans: Betting Forecast
The Nuggets and Pelicans rank fourth and fifth in the NBA in scoring, respectively, but Denver has been superior defensively. However, New Orleans has handled Denver pretty well matchup-wise in head-to-head clashes. The Pelicans have won four of the last five battles with the Nuggets, and the underdog emerged victorious every time.
Most recently, Denver was favored by 6½ at home on March 21, and New Orleans stepped up to win 113-108. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram each dropped 30 points on the Nuggets’ D, riding a lopsided second quarter to victory. Nikola Jokic led Denver with 29 points while recording 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the triple-double.
While it’s true that the Nuggets have beefed up for a serious playoff run, the likelihood of either Gordon or McGee playing vs the Pelicans is slim. Both players need to clear medical protocols following their trades to Denver and are officially listed as doubtful.
New Orleans has shown that it can hang with Denver, at least in its present state. The Pelicans have won three straight at home, and are 5-1 ATS over their previous six games overall. The best bets on the board are the Pelicans +2½ and over 231½ total points.
NBA Free Pick ATS: New Orleans Pelicans +2½
NBA Free Pick O/U: Over 231½ Total Points Scored
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