Dave Carney 4/28/2021
What’s on the table today?: Betting Preview: Nuggets (-4) vs Pelicans / Total 228 ½
Tonight the Denver Nuggets (40-21) are taking on the New Orleans Pelicans (27-34) in Denver with the Nuggets 4 games off the pace of the best team in the West (record wise) the Utah Jazz. New Orleans is currently sitting outside of the top 10 which is the magic number to make the NBA’s “play-in-tournament” at 11th in the conference.
Since losing Jamal Murray to a torn ACL the Nuggets have been nothing short of spectacular winning 6 of 7 and making a case, despite the loss, that they are still legit contenders to win the conference and represent the West in the NBA Finals. Don’t forget, it was the Nuggets who lost to the Champion Lakers in the Conference Finals last year in the bubble.
The New Orleans Pelicans are in a much different spot than Denver right now, having to pull out all the stops in an attempt to make it into the top and secure a spot in the “play-in-tourney”. That New Orleans is in the position at all has many around the league baffled with such high expectations placed on the Pels after the hiring of Stan Van Gundy, the All-Star season from Brandon Ingram, and the continued emergence of Zion Williamson.
For whatever reason, things just haven’t worked out this year for New Orleans, but that’s exactly why I look at tonight’s game, and the spread (DEN -4) and say….PASS.
Zion and company are going to do EVERY and ANYTHING in their power over the course of the next two weeks to try and squeeze into that 10th spot meaning they could be playing spoiler to some of the better teams left on their schedule. Team’s like the Denver Nuggets.
What looks to be a solid play in tonight’s contest to me is this: UNDER 228 ½.
The Nuggets aren’t the best defensive team in the league giving up a shade over 111 points per night, and the Pels aren’t either, surrendering around 115 a contest. However, in situations like this, with two teams on the opposite side of the playoff spectrum, and a lot riding on it for both, teams tend to be a bit more defensively focused effort all around, making a play on the UNDER an attractive one.
When we zoom out and consider some recent trends for both the Pelicans and the Nuggets thanks to Covers.com, we can also see the arrow pointing towards taking the UNDER 228 ½ as well.
- Under is 4-0 in Pelicans last 4 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Under is 4-0 in Nuggets last 4 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Under is 6-0 in Nuggets last 6 vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
- Under is 5-1 in Nuggets last 6 games following a straight up win.
If what we see concerning these trends hold, and my analysis of this game being a tough, defensive battle does hold up, this game will go well UNDER its total, and provide a good ticket to cash, or a fist-bump to be had when making your “friendly” wagers.
Good luck and happy Hip Hop Hump Day!
**For more info on TOTAL plays, OVER/UNDER, and PLUS/MINUS plays, TEASER cards and more, check back through some previous columns for detailed information**
REMEMBER – don’t bet based upon my recommendations. Do your research. Stay in your lane