It’s the last game before the NBA All-Star break and the New Orleans Pelicans have a few old scores to settle.
Thursday night the Pelicans host the Dallas Mavericks at the Smoothie King Center. The ref will toss the ball at 7 p.m. and basketball will begin.
New Orleans was the talk of the NBA Universe after trading for star guard CJ McCollum last week. McCollum scored 74 points in his first three games with the Pelicans, but the team is just 1-2 in that time.
Entering Tuesday night’s game with the Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans was 23-34, just a half-game out of a spot in the playoffs, still trying to make up for a 1-12 start.
Dallas traded away oft-injured standout Kristaps Porzingis before the trade deadline to the Washington Wizards, but still, have one of the NBA’s marquee stars in fourth-year guard/forward Luka Doncic. The 6-foot-7 Doncic is a two-time All-NBA first-team player and is averaging 27.2 points.
What do the oddsmakers say?
Doncic is one of the top 10 favorites to win the NBA’s Most Valuable Player away at the FanDuel sportsbook. He is listed as +4800 to win the prize.
Memphis has a huge lead in the Southwest Division and is the betting favorite at Fanduel to win the division, but the Mavericks have some decent odds to reach the NBA Finals. Fanduel has the Mavericks posted at +2400 to reach NBA Finals.
The Pelicans are +13000, of course, that number could change if (and when) Pelicans star Zion Williamson can return.
Online sports betting is a reality in most places in Louisiana. So head over to these online Louisiana sportsbooks offering major promotions to bet on the Pelicans and multiple NBA honors.
Numbers to know
New Orleans is 29-28 against the spread this season and the Mavs are 29-26-2. The Pelicans have been better against the spread at home, checking in at 16-12.
The team is led by Brandon Ingram who has been scoring 22.4 a game and 5.3 assists. The Pelicans win by 30 points over the Toronto Raptors Monday was their biggest margin of victory this season.
Dallas leads the all-time series over New Orleans 49-24.
The big 10
Since the trade for McCollum, the Pelicans are 1-2 against the spread. In their last 10 games heading into Tuesday’s game with the Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans has been the underdog eight times.
They are 4-4 in those games against the spread. Five of the Pelicans’ last eight games have been under the listed total.
LA sportsbooks love the Mavericks. Before Dallas’ game with Miami Tuesday night, the Mavericks had been the favorite in nine straight games. They have covered the spread in six of those games.
Six of the Mavericks’ last 10 games have hit the over, but three of their last four were all under.
High five: last five meetings between Pelicans and Mavericks
Pelicans 107, Mavericks 91
Two days after getting pounded by Dallas, the Pelicans roared back behind 24 points from Ingram and 14 points and 11 rebounds by Jonas Valanciunas.
Mavericks 139, Pelicans 107
The Mavericks set a franchise record by shooting 68.7 percent from the floor and had 41 points in the first quarter in this blowout.
Mavericks 108, Pelicans 92
New Orleans led by 11 early but faded playing without Ingram and rookie Herb Jones. Doncic led all scorers with 25 and got help from Tim Hardaway Jr. with 17 points.
Mavericks 125, Pelicans 107
Playing without four starters, the Pelicans were run over by the Mavericks. Doncic had 33 points while Porzingis added 19.
Pelicans 112, Mavericks 103
Williamson had 38 points – one of his career-high – and the Pelicans went on an 18-8 run in the final 3:42 to win it. Doncic missed the game with an illness.