The New Orleans Pelicans welcome the Atlanta Hawks to town for a nationally televised matchup on Wednesday evening. The Pelicans are 1-3 this season, but New Orleans was improved in a Monday night win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Hawks are 2-1, including an opening night win over the Dallas Mavericks. Zion Williamson (foot) remains sidelined for the Pelicans after offseason surgery.
Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. ET in New Orleans. Caesars Sportsbook lists the Hawks as five-point road favorites, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 219.5 in the latest Hawks vs. Pelicans odds. Before you make any Pelicans vs. Hawks picks and NBA predictions, you need to see what SportsLine's advanced computer simulation model has to say.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned almost $9,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past three-plus seasons. The model finished up almost $600 on its top-rated picks last season and enters Week 2 of the 2021-22 NBA season on a stunning 103-68 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Hawks vs. Pelicans and just revealed its coveted picks and predictions. You can head to SportsLine to see all of the model's NBA picks. Here are several NBA betting lines and trends for Hawks vs. Pelicans:
- Hawks vs. Pelicans spread: Hawks -5
- Hawks vs. Pelicans over-under: 219.5 points
- Hawks vs. Pelicans money line: Hawks -210, Pelicans +175
- ATL: The Hawks are 2-1 against the spread this season
- NO: The Pelicans are 2-2 against the spread in 2021-22
Why the Hawks can cover
Atlanta finished 27-11 under Nate McMillan last season, and the Hawks backed that up with a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals. With a roster that returns every key piece with improved depth, the early returns have also been strong. The Hawks are currently a top-five defensive team in the NBA, headlined by a 77.8 percent defensive rebound rate that should combat the Pelicans' strength on the offensive glass.
Atlanta is No. 2 in the NBA in shooting efficiency allowed and, at present, New Orleans ranks in the bottom five of the NBA in scoring fewer than a point per possession. The Pelicans have only 1.09 assists for every turnover this season, and New Orleans has real ball security issues, turning the ball over on 19.9 percent of possessions. With Williamson out of the lineup, the Hawks should have the advantage in star power, with Trae Young already asserting himself after a breakout campaign in 2020-21.
Why the Pelicans can cover
New Orleans has a recent track record of offensive success, including scoring 1.13 points per possession last season. In the early going, the Pelicans are assisting on more than 61 percent of field goals, and have been dominant on the offensive glass. The Pelicans led the league in offensive rebound rate (30.2 percent) a year ago, and New Orleans has been even better (30.5 percent) through four games this year.
The Pelicans were also a top-five team in free throw rate a season ago, and they have strengths defensively. New Orleans was a top-three defensive rebounding team in 2020-21, with above-average free throw prevention. The ability to prevent free throw attempts is crucial against Atlanta, and the Pelicans also rank in the top five in two-point shooting allowed (48.9 percent) this season.
How to make Hawks vs. Pelicans picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the point total, projecting these two teams combine for 221 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 60 percent of simulations. You can only see the model's Pelicans vs. Hawks picks at SportsLine.
So who wins Hawks vs. Pelicans? And which side of the spread hits in over 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Hawks vs. Pelicans spread you need to jump on Wednesday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.