Injuries continue to plague the Brooklyn Nets, who have seven players listed as out for Tuesday's visit to the New Orleans Pelicans. The most notable injury is to star forward Kevin Durant, who suffered a thigh contusion in the first quarter that knocked him out of Sunday's two-point loss to the Miami Heat. Durant and James Harden (hamstring) will both miss Tuesday's game. Brooklyn (38-19) still owns the second-best record in the Eastern Conference behind the Philadelphia 76ers. New Orleans (25-32) is in 11th place and 3 1/2 games out of the playoff picture in the West as it attempts to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET at Smoothie King Center. William Hill Sportsbook lists New Orleans as a 3.5-point favorite while the over-under for total points scored is 231.5 in the latest Nets vs. Pelicans odds. Before making any Pelicans vs. Nets 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 $9,200 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up over $1,200 on its top-rated picks this season, and dating back to last year, it entered Week 18 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 96-60 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Nets vs. Pelicans spread: Pelicans -3.5
- Nets vs. Pelicans over-under: 231.5 points
- Nets vs. Pelicans money line: Pelicans -165, Nets +145
- BKN: The Nets are 18-6 vs. Western Conference teams
- NO: The Pelicans have lost four straight vs. the Nets
Why the Nets can cover
Brooklyn will feature a different lineup that had its way with the Pelicans on April 7, erupting for its highest-scoring half of the season with 79 points in a 139-111 drubbing. Landry Shamet carried the offense once Durant was sidelined Sunday, coming off the bench to score a career-high 30 points. He buried seven 3-pointers in the game and is 19 of 37 from behind the arc while averaging 21.5 points over the last four contests.
Kyrie Irving, averaging 27.3 points per game, struggled with his shot Sunday, but he scored 24 points and hit 4 of 6 3-pointers in the last meeting vs. New Orleans. He has been more productive away from home, averaging 29.1 points and shooting 52.1 percent on the road. The Nets, who have the No. 2 scoring offense (118.8 points) and lead the league in shooting percentage (49.5), shot 55.4 percent vs. the Pelicans last time.
Why the Pelicans can cover
New Orleans was missing forward Brandon Ingram, the team's second-leading scorer (24.2 points), due to injury in the previous matchup with Brooklyn. He struggled in his first game back in the lineup but has elevated his play and is averaging 28.4 points over the last five contests. Ingram had a pair of big performances against the Nets last season, registering a double-double (22 points, 11 rebounds) and a 40-point outing.
Leading scorer Zion Williamson (26.8 points per game) had a rare clunker against Brooklyn, scoring 16 points on 4-of-12 shooting. That ended an impressive streak in which the 2019 No. 1 overall draft pick had scored at least 20 points and shot 50 percent in 25 consecutive games. Williamson has bounced back with a vengeance since facing the Nets, averaging 30.8 points in the last six games and eclipsing 30 four times.
How to make Pelicans vs. Nets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 233 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Pelicans vs. Nets? 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 is on a roll on NBA picks.