After a 1-12 SU start to the season, the Pelicans (36-46 SU, 41-40-1 ATS) posted a winning record the rest of the way. New Orleans tries to move one step closer to its first playoff appearance since 2018 when it hosts the Spurs (34-48, 43-37-2), who have been better on the road this season than at home.
Spurs vs Pelicans Odds & Analysis
The most popular Spurs vs Pelicans prediction among early bettors has been on the UNDER, driving the total down to as low as 225 at some betting sites by this morning. New Orleans was favored by 6 and 6.5 points in its two regular-season home games against the Spurs, not far off from the opening point spread of Pelicans -5 for tonight’s play-in contest.
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Spurs Have Been Better On The Road This Season Than At Home
San Antonio finished the regular season with a mediocre 34-48 SU record, but that mark is a bit deceiving. The Spurs lost 13 of their first 17 games and were 16 games below .500 a month ago before turning it on down the stretch, winning seven of eight games from March 20 to April 5 to secure a spot in the play-in tournament.
The Spurs’ late-season surge included five consecutive wins on the road, San Antonio’s longest such streak in five years. The Spurs were actually better this season as the visitors (18-23 SU) than as hosts (16-25), and they were a sizzling 24-16-1 ATS on the highway.
The biggest concern for anyone considering San Antonio for their Spurs vs Pelicans prediction might be the health of Dejounte Murray. San Antonio’s leading scorer has played just one game since missing five straight contests due to an illness that caused him to lose eight pounds, going 5-for-15 from the field in Sunday’s 130-120 loss at Dallas. Backup guard Lonnie Walker is also playing through back soreness.
Pelicans A Much-Improved Team Since Acquiring McCollum Two Months Ago
New Orleans has also overcome a lot to get here, playing the whole season without Zion Williamson and digging itself out of an early hole after starting the year 1-12 SU. Midseason acquisition CJ McCollum was a big key to the Pelicans’ turnaround, averaging 24 points per game since joining the team from Portland.
In fact, the Pelicans are 7-3 SU this season when using a starting lineup of McCollum, Jaxson Hayes, Jonas Valanciunas, Herb Jones and leading scorer Brandon Ingram. Ingram missed New Orleans’ final three regular-season games with a hamstring injury but practiced Tuesday and expects to suit up tonight, while Valanciunas is also likely to play after missing Sunday’s contest with a sore ankle.
Spurs vs Pelicans Pick & Insights
Spurs: Keys To Cover
San Antonio has won five of its last six visits to the Smoothie King Center, including a pair of victories over the past two months. Coach Gregg Popovich is also dangerous when he’s got extra time to prepare, leading San Antonio to an 11-4 ATS record in its last 15 games on two days’ rest.
Pelicans: Keys To Cover
History is on New Orleans’ side as higher seeds are 8-1 SU since the play-in tournament was introduced two years ago. McCollum and Valanciunas also have more postseason experience than the entire Spurs roster combined, which could make a difference down the stretch of a tight game.
Odds Shark’s Computer Spurs vs Pelicans Prediction: Pelicans -5.5
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