Warriors vs. Pelicans Odds
|Moneyline||+125 / -150|
|Time||Monday, 7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Sunday and via BetMGM|
The Pelicans host the Warriors on Monday night in the first of two back-to-back meetings between these teams on Monday and Tuesday.
The Pelicans, who sit three games behind the Warriors (and 2 1/2 games behind the Spurs for the 10th seed in the Western Conference) likely need to win both games against the Warriors to reach the play-in tournament.
This is the first meeting between these teams this season, and the Warriors will also host the Pelicans in each team’s penultimate regular-season game on May 14.
Golden State Warriors
Andrew Wiggins (knee) is questionable, Eric Paschall (hip) and Damion Lee (health and safety protocols) remain out, while Kelly Oubre Jr. (wrist) is out indefinitely. James Wiseman (meniscus) and Klay Thompson (Achilles) are also out for the season.
If the Warriors win as road underdogs, they will need at least one of Jordan Poole and Mychal Mulder to step up alongside Stephen Curry and Draymond Green.
Curry just finished one of the best months of his career this April as he made 46.6% of his 3-pointers on 13.7 attempts per game. After scoring 32 or fewer points in the seven March games he played in, Curry has scored at least 32 in 13 of 15 games in April while averaging 37.3 points per game last month. He leads the league in scoring average this season at 31.3 points per game, and his 134.5 points per 100 shots rank in the 100th percentile among point guards, per Cleaning The Glass.
The Warriors can count on Curry to be somewhere between very good and incredible offensively every night. They can also count on Green to continue doing the dirty work that maximizes their chances of winning by defending, rebounding and passing at a high level. However, the Warriors will need other scorers to step up if they cover or pull off the upset against the Pelicans.
The Warriors will be without at least four (and up to five if Wiggins is out) of their top eight scorers, not including Thompson, when they face the Pelicans. Curry will be their only player who averages more than 11 points per game available if Wiggins is out. The Warriors’ shooting will also be limited as Poole (5.0) and Wiggins (5.1) are the only Warriors outside of Oubre (5.2) and Curry (12.0) who are attempting more than three 3s per game who will have a chance to be available Thursday.
With key contributors like Oubre, Lee, and Paschall out, the Warriors will need Mulder, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Kent Bazemore to step up and take advantage of open looks from beyond the arc to win. Mulder has started lately as the Warriors have dealt with injuries, and he has scored at least 11 points in five straight games. He will need to continue his hot shooting as he has made 15 of his last 37 3-point shots (40.5%) over the last five games.
New Orleans Pelicans
Steven Adams (knee) is questionable while Nickeil Alexander-Walker (ankle) and Josh Hart (thumb) remain out indefinitely.
If the Pelicans win and cover as short favorites, they need Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball at their best.
Per Cleaning The Glass, both Williamson and Ingram have usage rates in at least the 94th percentile (among their respective position groups) while also scoring in at least the 73rd percentile in points per shot attempt. Both are also elite distributors as they each have an assist rate in the 90th percentile or higher.
Williamson has been nearly unstoppable once he gets the ball in isolation situations with his freakish size and speed combination. As he continues to improve his handle and vision with experience, it makes him even more dangerous as a scorer and distributor. Williamson took all 17 of his shots in the Pelicans’ win over the Timberwolves on Saturday at the rim, converting 14 of them.
While Williamson attacks the rim, Ingram remains a dangerous scorer everywhere on the court. He is shooting in the 69th percentile at the rim, 77th percentile in the midrange and in the 58th percentile from beyond the arc among forwards (per Cleaning The Glass).
The Pelicans’ offense ranks ninth in the league with an offensive rating of 115.0 (excluding garbage time, per Cleaning The Glass) this season, but they have struggled lately as their 109.6 offensive rating over their last 18 games ranks 25th in the NBA since the beginning of April.
The Pelicans’ offense has struggled because they haven’t been able to make teams pay when defenses over-commit to Williamson and Ingram as their 3-point shooting has been poor lately. The Pelicans rank 24th in the NBA as they have converted just 35.4% of their 3-pointers this season. Their shooting has been even worse since the beginning of April as their 33.1% 3-point accuracy ranks 29th in the NBA over that span (just below the tanking Thunder in 28th and only above the tanking Magic in 30th).
The Pelicans will need Ball and Naji Marshall, their only 3-point shooters making more than 35% of his 3-point shots (on two attempts per game or more) besides Ingram, to step up and take advantage of quality looks, especially with Alexander-Walker and Hart out.
Ball is coming off of his first 30-point game since high school in the win over the Timberwolves where he knocked down eight of 17 3-balls. Marshall has stepped up for the Pelicans over the last month as he has played 20 or more minutes in 14 of the last 17 games after playing just 23 total minutes before April. His high-IQ defense, passing, and slashing will be important for the Pelicans on Monday.
While both teams have unstoppable scorers in Curry and Williamson, both teams also have significant question marks with their secondary scorers as they deal with injuries. Consequently, I love the value on the under as a way to fade both offenses.
The Pelicans will still face a top-10 defense against the Warriors, who will also have to deal with Green guarding Williamson. Golden State will need multiple shooters to step up alongside Curry to hit the over, especially if Wiggins is out.
This game will have more of a playoff feel to it than most regular-season games due to its significance for both teams’ playoff chances. That sweetens the value for me as the pace will likely be slower than normal (in addition to there being more pressure than usual on the players called upon to step up as secondary scorers).
Take the under at 236.5 with value down to 233.5.
Pick: Under 236.5 (bet down to 233.5)