The New Orleans Pelicans will attempt to put an ugly meltdown behind them when they host the Boston Celtics on Sunday afternoon. The Pelicans (12-17) watched an 11-point fourth-quarter lead evaporate into an 18-point defeat in Friday's home loss to Phoenix, their fifth defeat in the past six games. The Celtics (15-14) are seeking to post back-to-back victories for the first time in nearly a month.
Tip-off is at 3:30 p.m. ET at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. William Hill Sportsbook lists Boston as a two-point favorite, while the over-under is 231 in the latest Celtics vs. Pelicans odds. Before making any Pelicans vs. Celtics picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks last season. The model is also up more than $8,400 on top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. Dating back to last season, it enters Week 9 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 83-48 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Celtics vs. Pelicans spread: Celtics -2
- Celtics vs. Pelicans over-under: 231 points
- Celtics vs. Pelicans money line: Celtics -135; Pelicans +115
- BOS: Celtics PG Kemba Walker has hit 17 of 31 3-pointers in the last four games
- NO: The Pelicans are only 12-9 this season when holding a double-digit lead
Why the Celtics can cover
Leading scorer Jayson Tatum admitted after last weekend's six-point dud in Washington that he was still feeling the effects of last month's bout with COVID-19. Nonetheless, he bounced back with 21 points in a win at Denver before scoring a combined 60 points in Boston's split with Atlanta. Averaging 25.8 points per game, Tatum lit up the Pelicans for 41 points in his lone matchup against them last season.
Jaylen Brown is an eyelash behind Tatum with an average of 25.6 points after scoring 17 on Friday, ending a string of four straight with 20-plus points. The Celtics shot a season high-tying 55.6 percent in their latest win and they'll look to exploit a struggling New Orleans defense on Sunday. Since ripping off four straight wins earlier this month, the Pelicans have allowed an average of nearly 128 points during their 1-5 tailspin.
Why the Pelicans can cover
Zion Williamson continues to score at will, shooting at least 50 percent from the floor for the 10th consecutive game in Friday's setback. Topping the team at 25.0 points per game, the second-year forward has been especially productive during the Pelicans' recent slump, averaging 31.8 points over his last six contests. That includes scoring a career-high 36 points twice in that span for the 2019 No. 1 overall pick.
Second-leading scorer Brandon Ingram (23.6 points per game) netted a team-high 25 points on Friday, marking the 10th time in 11 games he has scored at least 20. Guard Lonzo Ball connected on 11-of-22 3-point attempts while scoring 21 points in each of the last two games to boost his season average to 14.3 per game. He had 12 assists Friday for his first double-double of the season and added three steals and two blocked shots.
How to make Celtics vs. Pelicans picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting both teams combine for 223 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Pelicans vs. Celtics? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.