The New Orleans Pelicans (17-29) take on the Boston Celtics (30-14) at the Smoothie King Center. The game will air on ESPN at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 26, 2020.
Boston Celtics at New Orleans Pelicans Betting Prediction
The last time the Celtics played, they topped the Orlando Magic, 109-98, as 3-point underdogs. The combined points for the game (207) finished under the projected point total of 212.5. The Celtics, who came into the game averaging an effective field goal percentage of 0.528, had a mark of 0.547, while the Magic had a free throw rate of 0.156 (below their season average of 0.190). With 37 points on 12-for-23 shooting, Kemba Walker was the game’s high scorer.
The Pelicans fell to the Denver Nuggets in their last contest, 113-106, despite being 4-point favorites. The total points for the game (219) were under the O/U total of 229.5. Denver’s 8.7 turnover percentage was their biggest strength over New Orleans, who had a rate of 15.2. The Nuggets’ mark was better than their season average of 11.4. With 15 points and 13 rebounds, Josh Hart had a solid game for New Orleans.
This will be the second game of the season between these two squads. In the first, Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 41 points and the Celtics defeated the Pelicans 140-105, covering as 11.5-point favorites. He also put up six rebounds. The game finished with a total of 245 points, which was 22 points above the projected point total of 223 points. The Celtics had a better turnover percentage (8.5 vs. 12.9) and had a better free throw rate (0.160 vs. 0.110).
Boston comes into the game with records of 30-14 straight up (SU) and 26-17-1 against the spread (ATS). Just over half of the Celtics’ games have finished under the projected point total.
Meanwhile, New Orleans owns records of 17-29 SU and 21-22-3 ATS. Games including the Pelicans have typically finished over the O/U total (56.5 percent).
This has potential to be a sloppy game for the offense of New Orleans. New Orleans ranks 23rd in the NBA in ball protection (turnover percentage of 14.2 percent), while the ball-hawking defense of Boston forces the fourth-most turnovers in the league (14.5 percent). Also, the Celtics’ fifth-ranked offense (offensive efficiency of 110.7) will attempt to take advantage of the Pelicans’ 24th-ranked defense (defensive efficiency of 110.8).
Boston Celtics at New Orleans Pelicans Betting Pick
Prediction: ATS Winner – Celtics, O/U – Over
Boston is 13-7-1 ATS on the road with 13 unders and 8 overs.
New Orleans is 11-12 ATS at home with 13 overs and 10 unders.
When holding opponents below 100 points, New Orleans is 3-0 and Boston is 11-2.
In games where they score more than 100 points, the Celtics are 29-8 and the Pelicans are 17-26.
Boston ranks second in steals allowed per game (6.7) while New Orleans ranks 26th (8.3).
The Celtics rank fourth in points allowed in the paint per game (43.0) while the Pelicans rank 28th (52.3).
Boston ranks fifth in points off turnovers allowed per game (14.9) while New Orleans ranks 26th (18.6).
The Celtics rank sixth in fast break points per game (15.3) while the Pelicans rank 26th in fast break points allowed per game (15.1).
Boston ranks 10th in second chance points allowed per game (12.4) while New Orleans ranks 25th (14.2).
The Pelicans average 38.3 three pointers per game, which ranks fifth in the NBA. The Celtics rank 15th in three pointers allowed per game (33.4).
New Orleans averages 5.2 blocks per game, which ranks 12th in the NBA. Boston ranks 21st in blocks allowed per game (5.5).
The Celtics rank 14th in rebounds per game (45.6) while the Pelicans rank 21st in rebounds allowed per game (46.2).
Over its last five contests, Boston is 4-1 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
New Orleans is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders over its last five games.
The Celtics’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 11.6, up from 7.2 for the season.
During their last five games, the Pelicans have scored an average of 123.4 points per game (9.1 above their season average) and allowed an average of 123.0 points per game (5.4 above their season average).