The New York Knicks come into this matchup off to a great start, sitting at 4-1 behind some incredible offensive play.
The New Orleans Pelicans can’t say the same thing as they are just 1-4 and struggling without one of their superstar players out due to an injury.
The squads will be lining up in New Orleans on Saturday in what should be a great test. Who is the best bet online to win this game?
New York Knicks at New Orleans Pelicans
Why Knicks Can Win
The New York Knicks have been playing a lot better due to their increased scoring output. Last season, they were primarily known as a defensive-minded team that got by on minimal offensive success.
That is completely different this time around. They currently rank second in the league with 118.8 points per game and are 18th in average points allowed to their opponents per game.
Nerlens Noel may not be able to suit up due to a minor injury but they should be alright regardless. This team has far more depth in 2021 than it did last season.
Julius Randle is doing it all, averaging 25.5 points and leading the team in scoring by a large margin. Evan Fournier, their free-agent acquisition, has been terrific and is a major reason for their turnaround.
He is averaging 19 points per game and has alleviated pressure off Randle and others. This team still has a lot of defensive prowess and that should lead the way against a Zion Williamson-less New Orleans Pelicans team.
Why The Pelicans Can Win
It has been a rough go so far for the New Orleans Pelicans. They enter with a 1-4 overall record and are badly missing the presence of Zion Williamsont. He remains out with a foot injury, along with both Josh Hart and Garrett Temple.
With Lonzo Ball and Steven Adams also off the roster due to offseason moves, this team has a lot of weapons they relied upon last season. Brandon Ingram leads the team with 25.6 points per game with the next closest scorer is Devonte Graham with 18.4.
Jonas Valanciunas has been good in his time so far to replace Adams, but they badly need more than just their starters. This roster just doesn’t have the scoring needed to overcome their bad defense and vice versa.
New Orleans ranks 27th in the league in average points scored per game with 100.8. That figures to a big problem in this one.
Outlook & Pick
There won’t be a tremendous amount of scoring on either side but it also isn’t going to be a 90-89 type of battle either. The Knicks seem to be the best bet for NBA picks in this specific matchup.
Their offense seems to be a lot more polished right now and their chemistry has been phenomenal. The same can’t be said for the Pelicans, who have struggled to really have a consistent offense as Zion remains off the floor.
This New Orleans team just doesn’t have enough scoring talents outside of Ingram to really fight off the tenacious New York defense. Look for a Knicks win in terms of NBA game betting purposes.