Week 16 of the 2020-21 NBA season wraps up Sunday with eight games around the Association, so here’s the best New Orleans Pelicans vs. New York Knicks betting pick along with the latest odds update on BetRivers Sportsbook.
The Pelicans and Knicks will meet for the second and final time this term, and New York will search for its second win after a 116-106 victory as 2-point underdogs in New Orleans just four days ago. The Knicks are 2.5-point home favorites in this one, while the totals are set at 221.0 points.
New Orleans dropped two straight games
After that 10-point defeat to the Knicks last Wednesday, the New Orleans Pelicans (25-31; 25-31 ATS) suffered a 117-115 overtime loss at the Washington Wizards on Friday night. Brandon Ingram accounted for 34 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and four steals, while Zion Williamson added 21 points and six boards, but the rest of the Pels’ starting lineup combined for only 18 points on 5-for-18 shooting.
The Pelicans are without Nickeil Alexander-Walker (ankle) and Josh Hart (thumb), while Lonzo Ball is trying to play through a hip injury. Ball (14.2 PPG, 5.6 APG) missed six of the Pels’ last ten games, so Ingram and Zion took a lot of playmaking duties.
New Orleans owns the ninth-best offensive rating in the NBA, scoring 114.6 points per 100 possessions, but the Pelicans’ defense remains a big issue. They surrender 115.0 points per 100 possessions (27th in the NBA) on 38.9% shooting from deep (28th). The Pelicans are 11th in the West, trailing a couple of games behind the tenth-seeded Spurs.
New York rides a five-game winning streak
The New York Knicks (30-27; 35-21-1 ATS) open a six-game homestand Sunday, searching for their sixth victory in a row. They are coming off a 117-109 win at the Dallas Mavericks this past Friday, as Julius Randle put on another outstanding performance.
Randle dropped 44 points on the Mavs, making 16 of his 29 attempts from the field to go with ten rebounds and seven assists. Julius is enjoying a terrific season, averaging 23.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game.
The Knicks are the No. 6 seed in the East, trailing just half a game behind the Hawks and Celtics. They continue to dominate on the defensive end, allowing 108.0 points per 100 possessions (3rd in the NBA) on 44.2% shooting from the field (1st) and 33.6% from beyond the 3-point line (also 1st).
- 2-5 ATS in the last seven games overall
- 1-4 ATS in the last five games on the road
- 1-7 ATS in the last eight contests against the Eastern Conference
- 8-0 ATS in the last eight games overall
- 4-1 ATS in the last five games against the Western Conference
The Knicks held the Pelicans to 45.5% shooting from the field and 21.4% from downtown last Wednesday. They pulled off in the fourth quarter, and I’m looking for a similar scenario in this one at Madison Square Garden.
New York’s defense should be a key factor down the stretch, so give me the Knicks to cover. It won’t be an easy task, as the Pelicans desperately need a win in their playoff battle, but the Knicks look red-hot and ready to rumble.
Pick: Take New York Knicks -2.5 at -110
Just four days ago, the Knicks and Pels combined for 222 points in total, as their clash went over a 219.5-point line. Now, the over is 4-1 in the last five encounters between New York and New Orleans.
The under is 4-3 in the Pelicans’ last seven outings, while the over is 6-2 in the Knicks’ previous eight showings at any location. Considering the Knicks’ stout defense, we shouldn’t expect to see a proper high-scoring affair, but the Pelicans will try their best to speed up things, as they cannot lean on their defense.
Still, the Knicks play at the slowest pace in the NBA, recording just 96.3 possessions per 48 minutes. Therefore, I’m going with the under, though it seems like a tough wager.
Pick: Go under 221.0 points at -110