The Portland Trail Blazers head to New Orleans to face off against the Pelicans in a Tuesday night matchup that is sure to be entertaining.
The Pelicans have won two straight games and are looking to get a streak going before the All-Star break. After a huge win over Indiana, the Pelicans have the opportunity to cash in a big win against another Western Conference rival.
The Trail Blazers have showcased some huge wins, but have been pretty inconsistent lately. After losing to the Utah Jazz and narrowly beating the Miami Heat, the Trail Blazers will look to get some consistency going against a rising Western Conference team.
It’s a small spread in this one, with the Pelicans coming in as a 2.5-point favorite. Let’s look at what both teams bring to the contest and make our pick.
Looking For Consistency
From a statistical standpoint, there’s no arguing that the Trail Blazers are one of the league’s better teams. The only problem is they haven’t been very consistent.
After surprising wins over the Lakers and the Jazz, it might surprise you that in their next game against the Nuggets, they lost by 28.
That’s been the problem with Portland. Just when it seems like it’s about to go on a hot streak, it goes cold.
Even with their inconsistencies, the Trail Blazers are a tough team to beat. Being one of the best in the league from the three-point line, in the top 10 in scoring and a great free-throw percentage has allowed the Trail Blazers to beat teams like the Lakers, Jazz, Heat and Mavericks.
Most of Portland’s success is clearly due to Damian Lillard. As the team’s leading scorer (29.9 points), Lillard has proven time and time again that he is one of the best guards in the league.
However, in Portland’s last game against the Pelicans, Lillard was ice cold, shooting 6-of-21 from the field and 0-of-10 from the three-point line.
This time, the Trail Blazers will have to travel to New Orleans and face a new Pelicans team featuring Zion Williamson back in the lineup. Unfortunately, the Trail Blazers could be down a couple of key bench players in this one. With an injury report too long to list, they’ll likely be short-handed against the Pelicans.
The Trail Blazers’ record against the spread recently has been great (7-1), but overall, they still remain under .500 (23-29-2).
Shooting For Three
The Pelicans finished a short road stretch winning two straight games, first against the Chicago Bulls, followed by beating the Indiana Pacers. With Williamson back in the lineup, the Pelicans have looked like a brand-new team. Although the playoffs might be out of the question, it doesn’t mean New Orleans won’t try to work its way in.
There are some variables in the Pelicans’ lineup for this Tuesday night game, as Brandon Ingram (ankle), Kenrich Williams (back) and Williamson (toe) are all listed as questionable.
I wouldn’t rule any of them out, though, as their last game was on Saturday night. With almost three full days of rest, I’d expect all three of them to be playing on Tuesday.
The Pelicans are over .500 against the spread. With a record of 27-24-2, the Pelicans give bettors a little bit of confidence. The last time these two faced off, New Orleans came in as 5.5-point underdogs and was able to cover the spread.
Pick and Prediction
The Trail Blazers have one of the best guards in the league but don’t have a strong supporting cast surrounding him. Although they had a huge game against the Heat, the Trail Blazers will be traveling on the road to New Orleans, and they’ll be missing a lot of people.
The Pelicans aren’t a strong team at home, but after winning two straight games on the road, one of which was against a strong Pacers squad, look for them to make it three straight against an injured Portland team.