Sacramento is knocking at the door among the West’s best while New Orleans continues to be consumed by injuries. With the Pels shorthanded, our NBA betting picks expect CJ McCollum to do whatever he must to get his team the win.
Could the New Orleans Pelicans have what it takes to pull off the upset on Monday?
They have struggled mightily over the last couple of weeks, losing five of six games and watching as many of their stars have gone down with injuries.
The Sacramento Kings simply can’t relate, walking into this one with a short injury list and a stretch of five wins in six games. They’ll have another opportunity on Monday to creep up on the Grizzlies for the second seed in the West.
Let’s break down how this one should go in our Pelicans vs. Kings NBA betting picks and predictions.
Pelicans vs Kings best odds
Pelicans vs Kings picks and predictions
It seems the entire Pelicans‘ roster is on this injury report Monday. Zion Williamson, Josh Richardson, Larry Nance, and Jose Alvarado remain out while Jonas Valanciunas is still questionable to play with a left calf contusion.
The Pels are one of the best teams in basketball at rebounding, and without all these names someone is going to have to step up.
That guy seems to be CJ McCollum. He’s obviously been a focal point the entire season as the lead man for New Orleans, but over the last three games he’s been especially involved. McCollum, who averages 35.1 minutes per game, is up to 37.4 per game over that span.
In the last two games, he’s gone for seven and six rebounds, respectively. He’s now had five rebounds or more in 25 of his 57 games played this year.
So, I think this line is very appealing. Most of the rebounding threats on the Pelicans will be watching from the sideline, and that should mean more chances to get involved on the boards for McCollum. It doesn’t hurt that the Kings’ rebounding numbers are down and Richaun Holmes is listed as questionable here.
My best bet: CJ McCollum Over 4.5 rebounds (+120)
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Pelicans vs Kings spread analysis
The Pelicans come into this one as 5.5-point underdogs, and even six-point dogs at some sportsbooks. It makes sense considering they’ve failed to cover in five of the last six games.
Something here gives me the heebie-jeebies, though. The Kings have covered in 54.8% of their games this season, but are just 15-16-1 against the spread at home and 10-13-1 ATS as home favorites. On top of that, they’ve got De’Aaron Fox and Richaun Holmes listed as questionable for this tilt.
NOLA has covered (and won) just once in its last six, but that’s been mostly due to its inability to score the ball. It has scored just 106.1 points per 100 possessions but ranks around the middle of the league defensively. During the same time, Sacramento is dead last in defensive efficiency.
I’m staying away from the spread here due to the Pelicans’ recent form, but if I had to take a side it’d be the underdogs. Sacramento has been tough to trust at home and enters this one with many concerns.
Pelicans vs Kings Over/Under analysis
Let’s back up here and look at a bit larger sample size, which is the last 10 games. In that time, the Kings are seventh in pace while New Orleans ranks 24th. For the season, these teams are ninth and 15th, respectively. There’s been a clear difference in how NOLA has played lately: it is trying to slow the game down and rely on its superb defense.
Once again, we have a bit of a confusing scenario. We’ve got a team which has had an awful defense and played quickly, and we’ve also got a team which has played excellent defense and slowed the game down. You’d expect the team which wins to dictate whether or not this game goes over the total, and as we touched on earlier I think the outcome of this one is going to be very much in the balance.
With that said, I don’t have a strong read on the total either. I’d probably side with the Over, just because Sacramento’s defense has been that bad. New Orleans has ways to score the ball and has run into some good defenses of late.
Pelicans vs Kings betting trend to know
The Over is 17-7 in games where the Kings are favored at home, and it’s 20-13 when the Pelicans are underdogs. Find more NBA betting trends for Pelicans vs. Kings.
Pelicans vs Kings game info
|Location:||Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA|
|Date:||Monday, March 6, 2023|
|Tip-off:||10:00 p.m. ET|