Brandon Ingram and the New Orleans Pelicans host DeMar DeRozan and the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday. The Pelicans enter Wednesday's action as winners of three of their last four and prized rookie Zion Williamson will make his NBA debut. The Spurs are coming off of back-to-back wins, which has them up to eighth in the Western Conference standings.
Tip-off is at 9:30 p.m ET from the Smoothie King Center. Sportsbooks list the Pelicans as 3.5-point home favorites, while the over-under for total points is 236 in the latest Pelicans vs. Spurs odds after climbing as high as 237.5. Before you make any Spurs vs. Pelicans picks or NBA predictions, you'll want to see what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and last season it returned a whopping $4,280 on its top-rated NBA spread and money line picks. It's already returned almost $1,800 in profit on all its top-rated NBA picks during the 2019-20 season and entered Week 13 on a blistering 32-16 run on all top-rated NBA spread picks. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has locked in on this Western Conference showdown and generated another strong against the spread pick for Spurs vs. Pelicans on Wednesday. You can see it here. Now, here are several NBA lines for Spurs vs. Pelicans:
- Spurs vs. Pelicans spread: Pelicans -3.5
- Spurs vs. Pelicans over-under: 236 points
- Spurs vs. Pelicans money line: New Orleans -170, San Antonio Spurs +145
- SAS: Spurs have the fourth-worst cover rate (41.5 percent) in the NBA.
- NOP: Pelicans are 12-1-1 against the spread over the past 14 games.
Why the Pelicans can cover
The Pelicans have covered the spread in eight of their last nine games now have franchise cornerstone Williamson healthy. And on Wednesday, Williamson's first NBA minutes will come in New Orleans against a team the Pelicans will be competing with for the final spot in the NBA playoff picture. Expect the Pelicans to play with plenty of energy in their first fully healthy game of the year.
Perhaps even more important than the addition of Williamson is the return of Jrue Holiday, who didn't skip a beat after missing the previous seven games. In his first game back, Holiday finished with 36 points and shot 7-for-10 from the three-point line. Lonzo Ball and Ingram stepped up with game-winning performances in Holiday's absence and the team now boasts an offensive attack that has four players who can create quality shots for themselves and others.
Why the Spurs can cover
Just because the Pelicans have the offensive weapons to overwhelm San Antonio's defense doesn't mean they will cover the spread against the Spurs on Wednesday, though. The model is well aware that while it is easy to get excited about all of New Orleans' young pieces, they are still quite young. There could be growing pains as the team tries to integrate Williamson into their offensive system. Ball and Ingram have grown accustomed to dominating the ball with other Pelicans injured, and it may take several games for the team to figure out the best way to disperse touches and minutes among a suddenly crowded rotation.
The Pelicans have the same defensive efficiency rating as the Spurs and don't have an answer defensively for Aldridge. There's also DeMar DeRozan to worry about. DeRozan is playing at perhaps the highest level of any point of his career, averaging 26 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, and two steals while shooting 55 percent from the floor over the past two weeks. Top defensive teams like the Bucks, Celtics, and Raptors haven't been able to slow DeRozan down, so it would be a surprise to see the Pelicans do so.
How to make Spurs vs. Pelicans picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, and it also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. It's calling for a modest performance from Williamson in his first game back, with 14 points and seven rebounds. Aldridge nearly turns in a double-double, but he's not the leading scorer for the Spurs. You can only see the full picks at SportsLine.
So who wins Spurs vs. Pelicans? And which side of the spread cashes well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Spurs vs. Pelicans spread you need to jump on Wednesday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.