NBA Betting — Pelicans Lay Points to Celtics on Their Strange, Strange Trip
As bad weather affects many areas of the country, the New Orleans Pelicans are in the midst of having to endure a very unusual road trip, and NBA bettors are probably wondering whether they can get themselves to the .500 mark with all this traveling. On Thursday night they will visit the Boston Celtics, in a game that is slated to tip off at 7:35 PM ET at the TD Garden in Boston.
New Orleans has a 14-16 straight-up record, and is 13-16-1 in the pro basketball lines. Boston, which has lost four of its last five, is 13-18 straight-up, with a 15-16 mark against the points.
In the NBA betting odds that have been posted on this matchup by the people at VietBet, the Pelicans are laying points:
New Orleans Pelicans -3
Boston Celtics +3
Over 200 points -110
Under 200 points -110
Here was the trip (or should we call it an “odyssey”?) for the Pelicans: first stop was a journey to Minnesota on New Year’s Day, with a travel day and this date against the Celtics. On Saturday they have to travel to Indiana to play the Pacers (the #1 team in the Eastern Conference), and then they finish things up next Tuesday in Miami. Well, after those miles, they probably deserve some time on South Beach.
But as NBA bettors witnessed, their first stop on this road trip was an abysmal effort, as they lost 124-112 to the Timberwolves, yielding 55.7% shooting from the floor and committing 17 turnovers, which spoiled what was their second straight solid night of marksmanship. In Monday’s 110-108 win over Portland, they hit 54%, but in that game they only had nine turnovers.
The newly-renamed Pelicans (they had been the Hornets, a monicker that will go back to Charlotte next season) were, for quite some time, a team that prided itself on defense and played at a very deliberate pace under head coach Monty Williams. But it’s now a different ballgame; New Orleans has allowed 46.5% shooting on the part of opponents (very pedestrian) and both scores and allows a little more than 103 points per game. In the basketball betting lines, they have played “over” the total 60% of the time.
Admittedly this team has more offensive weapons at its disposal now. Jrue Holiday was acquired form Philadelphia in the off-season, and he’s been both a credible scorer (15.4 ppg) and good floor leader (8.2 assists per contest), finding teammates like Eric Gordon (15.3 ppg). Anthony Davis, the #1 pick in last year’s draft, has been formidable when healthy, shooting 52% and averaging 19.2 points. And VietBet customers know that he’s a real intimidator in the middle, blocking over three shots per contest. The leading scorer, however, is resourceful power forward Ryan Anderson, who is 6’10″ and 240 pounds but has a nice touch form three-point range (41%). And then there is the sixth man, Tyreke Evans, the former rookie of the year who can play the point, the two-guard or small forward.
Many NBA bettors don’t know whether they should be disappointed in the Celtics or not. After all, they are in a major transitional year – they lost Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to Brooklyn, coach Doc Rivers to the L.A. Clippers, and Rajon Rondo to injury. It is not know for sure when Rondo will return to the NBA from his torn ACL, but he is going to travel with the team starting Sunday and may actually go to the D-League for a stint with the Maine Red Claws. Meanwhile, the Celtics are getting some offensive balance, with five starters averaging between 11.1 and 15.9 points per contest. Avery Bradley (5.4 assists per game) is manning the point; Jared Sullinger is turning into a serviceable pivot man, and Jeff Green is the scoring leader (15.9 ppg), but he has shot only 40% in the last five games. Even with their record, the East is weak enough that the playoffs are not out of reach. But the Celts are slumping, with five straight defeats against the NBA betting lines. At home they sport an 8-9 straight-up mark.
NBA betting is absolutely “fantastic” when you do it with the people at VietBet!
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