Two must-see teams battle it out on Friday as the New Orleans Pelicans face the Indiana Pacers. New Orleans has a point to prove after a disappointing start to the season, but the Pacers won’t be an easy opponent on Friday.
Online betting markets are available for the Pelicans vs Pacers, so let’s dive into our NBA Friday preview.
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Pelicans vs Pacers Betting Preview
Pelicans Not Living Up To Expectations
Starting 7-12 this season isn’t where the Pelicans thought they would be after 19 games. They were one of the top picks in the Southwest Conference, but they currently sit in last position.
Trailing Memphis by 3.5 games isn’t where the Pelicans should be situated, given their natural basketball ability. In a team that features Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball, Steven Adams and Brandon Ingram, a record of 12-7 would be more likely.
However, something isn’t quite clicking with this unit. The Pelicans come off consecutive losses to Houston and Sacramento, with the most recent coming by nine points. The performance wasn’t good enough, especially at home.
There were signs of life when beating Milwaukee 131-126 last month, so the ability to perform at a high level is there. If New Orleans wants to climb the rankings, beating teams like Indiana is a must.
Pacers Rebound After Shock Loss
Rebounding from a shocking loss is never easy, so credit to Indiana. The Pacers lost in stunning fashion to Philadelphia on Sunday, where they had a 16-pt lead in the fourth, and ended up losing by nine points.
Indiana scored a rebound win against Memphis 134-116, which is a quality win given Memphis heads the Southwest Conference.
The Pacers are now only a half-game behind Milwaukee in the Central, so beating the Pelicans is important to keep pace.
If Indiana can close out games in the fourth quarter, it’s good enough to make a deep run in the playoffs this season.
What To Make Of Zion
There is no doubting the talent of Zion Williamson, but does his hype take away value from bettors? Betting on a public-heavy team isn’t always wise, and more money comes for the Pelicans because of Zion.
If Williamson can become a better defender and a more economical shooter, he could become anything. His field goal percentage of 58.1 isn’t good enough for a player scoring most of his points in the paint.
We would expect that statistic to be much better, and he’s only shooting 67.7 percent from the three throw line. Zion could improve on his 23.5 points per game, which would take the Pelicans to another level.
Pelicans vs Pacers Game Pick
We expect an even spread of money to come for both teams, but we give the edge to the Pacers.
That wouldn’t have been the case had they lost to the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this week, but the win showed Indiana has some intestinal fortitude.
The Pelicans are often shorter in the NBA odds markets than where they should be, so take the Pacers with home court advantage.
Pick: Pacers 120 Pelicans 110