Didn’t we just do this?
For the second time in seven days, the New Orleans Pelicans take on the Denver Nuggets, this time in the Mile High City. Tipoff is Friday night at 8 p.m. central time.
The Pelicans (19-32) broke a four-game losing streak Tuesday with a 111-101 win over the Detroit Pistons. Brandon Ingram returned to the Pelicans line-up and put in 26 points and the Pelicans rallied.
Denver and New Orleans met a week ago at the Smoothie King Center with the Nuggets winning 116-105. Denver has won each of the two meetings this season.
Ingram leads the Pelicans with 22.5 points a game. Pelicans big man Jonas Valanciunas has contributed with 18.2 points and 12 rebounds.
The Nuggets were 28-22 heading into Wednesday night’s game with the Utah Jazz. That’s the last game of a six-game road trip for the Nuggets.
Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic is a handful for every team in the NBA. He leads the Nuggets in five key statistical categories, including points and rebounds.
What do the oddsmakers say?
The Pelicans come in as 5.5-point underdogs on the DraftKings and BetMGM sportsbook. The over/under for points by Pelicans rookie Herb Jones is 9.5.
Great news! Pelicans fans can finally place live bets on games in LA. Online sports betting launched and there are four major platforms offering promotions which you can use to bet on this game:
The Pelicans are 24-27 against the spread this season and average 105.4 points a game.
Not counting the Nuggets-Jazz contest, Denver is 21-29 against the spread. Denver averages 109.4 points a game.
The Nuggets lead the all-time series with the Pelicans 38-28. The Pelicans are just 8-19 on the road this season.
The big 10
The Pelicans have only been the betting favorite twice in their last 10 games. In both of those games, they covered the spread.
In their last 10 games overall, the Pelicans have covered the spread four times. Lately, the Pelicans trend has been the under. Their last three games have gone under the listed point total.
Not counting Wednesday’s Jazz game, the Nuggets have been the listed as the favorite seven times of the last 10. They have covered that spread four times.
In their last 10 games, Denver is 5-5 against the spread. However, the Nuggets play some of the highest-scoring games in the NBA. They have gone over nine times in their last 10 games.
The last five games between the Nuggets and Pelicans
Nuggets 116, Pelicans 105: This was the game a week ago. The Pels were without Ingram and Valaciunas who were out with injuries. Jokic had 29 points and a triple-double.
Nuggets 120, Pelicans 114 OT: A tough early-season loss for the Pelicans who led by five points with 2:32 left. Jokic had 39 points, including 11 in the overtime.
Nuggets 114, Pelicans 112: The Nuggets led by nine with 52 seconds left and the Pelicans rallied. Zion Williamson went in for a potential game-tying dunk with 2.2 seconds left, but Jokic blocked the shot. No foul called.
Nuggets 113, Pelicans 108: Williamson had 29 points and the Pels led by as many as 14, but Denver closed on a 24-8 run to steal it. Jokic was again a killer with 37 points.
Pelicans 113, Nuggets 108: Jokic had another triple-double, but Williamson and Ingram each had 30 points and the Pelicans outrebounded the Nuggets 45-37.
The play (advise on how to bet)
The good news for the Pelicans is that they have had two days off and should be at relatively full strength against the Nuggets.
The bad news is that New Orleans has just never been able to handle Jokic. He’s had his way against New Orleans.
The Nuggets should be happy to be home and looking to atone for two straight losses. It looks like they should cover the spread. I lean toward the over on Herb Jones though.