The New York Knicks look to build on a five-game winning streak when they host Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday. New York (30-27) is 17-10 at Madison Square Garden this season, with New Orleans (25-31) sitting at just 9-17 in true road games. Mitchell Robinson (foot) and Alec Burks (protocols) are out for the Knicks. Jaxson Hayes (back) is probable to play for the Pelicans, with Nickeil Alexander-Walker (ankle) and Josh Hart (thumb) ruled out.
Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET in New York. The latest Pelicans vs. Knicks odds from William Hill Sportsbook list New York as a one-point favorite. The over-under for total points is set at 218. Before finalizing any Knicks vs. Pelicans 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 has returned over $9,100 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up over $1,100 on its top-rated picks this season, and dating back to last year, it entered Week 17 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 95-59 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Pelicans vs. Knicks spread: Knicks -1
- Pelicans vs. Knicks over-under: 218 points
- Pelicans vs. Knicks money line: Knicks -115; Pelicans -105
- NOP: The Pelicans are 3-7 against the spread in the last 10 games
- NYK: The Knicks are 8-2 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Pelicans can cover
New Orleans is a top-10 offensive team in the NBA this season, and that makes the Pelicans dangerous in any given game. The Pelicans are scoring 1.14 points per possession for the season, and they are leading the NBA in offensive rebounding, securing 30.5 percent of their own missed shots. New Orleans puts pressure on the rim consistently, ranking No. 6 in 2-point shooting (55.1 percent) and No. 7 in field goal percentage (48.1 percent). The Pelicans also do well on the margins, ranking in the top five in free throw attempts (25.9 per game) and generating 26.0 assists per contest.
On the other end, Stan Van Gundy's team is elite at protecting the glass, ranking No. 2 in the league in grabbing 75.8 percent of available rebounds. The Pelicans are also a top-10 team in preventing free throw attempts for their opponents, and the Knicks struggle offensively. New York is scoring fewer than 1.1 points per possession this season, with a bottom-five mark in overall shooting efficiency.
Why the Knicks can cover
New York is excellent defensively, and it shows in its statistical profile. The Knicks are the No. 4 overall defense in the NBA, allowing only 107.6 points per 100 possessions, and New York leads the league in field goal percentage allowed (44.2 percent) and 3-point percentage allowed (33.6 percent). The Knicks are a top-five team in limiting assists (23.1 per game), and they protect the glass well, which is a necessity against New Orleans. The Pelicans also turn the ball over on 14.4 percent of offensive possessions, a bottom-10 mark in the NBA, and that could fuel New York's defense.
On the other end, Julius Randle is enjoying the best season of his career, averaging 23.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game. The Knicks aren't electric offensively on the whole, but they are scoring 1.16 points per possession during an active five-game winning streak. Furthermore, the Pelicans are just 27th in the NBA in defensive rating, yielding almost 1.15 points per possession this season, and New Orleans is second-worst in the NBA in effective field goal percentage allowed (55.6 percent).
How to make Pelicans vs. Knicks picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 213 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits over 50 percent of the time. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Pelicans vs. Knicks? And which side of the spread hits 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 is on a 95-59 roll on NBA picks.