Pelicans-Mavericks prediction, pick, how to watch
The New Orleans Pelicans (26-26) visit the Dallas Mavericks (27-25) on Thursday night. Action Tips at 8:40 p.m. ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Pelicans-Mavericks prediction, pick and how to watch.
New Orleans has lost nine straight games and dropped to 10th place in the Western Conference. The Pelicans have covered 46% of their games while 56% have exceeded their target point total. Dallas has won two of its last three games and remains in fifth place in the West. The Mavericks have covered 34% of their games while 54% have passed them. This will be the third of four meetings between the two teams. They’ve split the series so far, with each home team picking up a win.
Here are the Pelicans-Mavericks NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Pelicans-Mavericks Odds
New Orleans Pelicans: +4.5 (-110)
Dallas Mavericks: -4.5 (-110)
Over: 223.5 (-110)
Minus: 223.5 (-110)
How to Watch Pelicans vs Mavericks
Television: Bally New Orleans, Bally Southwest
Stream: NBA League Pass
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET/ 5:30 p.m. PT
*Watch LIVE NBA games with fuboTV (click for free trial)*
Why pelicans might cover the spread
After holding on to the top spot in the West for much of the start of the season, the Pelicans have fallen into freefall over the past month. Despite losing nine straight games, the Pelicans have a good chance to cover tonight thanks to their solid defense. The Pelicans allow 113.7 Opp. PPG for the season, but that number increased to 115.5 Opp. PPG during their losing streak. That being said, Dallas is only scoring 112.3 points per game and they’ve been held to under 112 points in each of their last three games.
If the Pelicans want to cover the spread as road underdogs, they’re going to have to get their offense back on track. New Orleans has been pitiful at this end of the field during this losing streak, averaging a league-worst 103.7 PPG. However, they can expect that number to climb as Brandon Ingram progresses. Ingram missed two months due to injury but has since returned. In his three games since returning from injury, Ingram has averaged 17 PPG and 6.0 APG. While he’s only shot 30% and averaged 4.7 turnovers per game, that rust will start to come off as he readjusts to the game.
While Ingram is still shaking off the rust, the Pelicans will need veteran CJ McCollum to continue his solid game tonight. McCollum is averaging 21.3 PPG and 5.8 APG for the season as he’s taken on a much larger role given New Orleans’ injuries. He’s been incredibly consistent, scoring 20+ points in 12 of his 14 January games.
The X factor for New Orleans tonight is big man Jonas Valanciunas. The burley center is averaging 14.5 PPG and 9.6 RPG. He’s a double-double machine, doing it in 12 of his 16 January games. Valanciunas has given Dallas fits in two previous meetings this year – most recently scoring 25 points and grabbing 10 rebounds last month. New Orleans struggled on the glass in their nine-game skid, making Valanciunas even more important to having a great night.
Why Mavericks Might Cover the Spread
Dallas enters tonight with a tight grip on fifth place in a jam-packed Western Conference. The Mavericks play one of the most unique styles in the league and are often a nightmare for opposing defenses. This is largely due to their incredibly slow pace of play. Dallas is averaging 97.9 possessions per game — second-fewest in the league. The Mavericks’ slow pace and lack of quick goals is offset by their affinity for outside shooting. Dallas is averaging 14.6 threes per game, third in the league. The Mavs also do a great job drawing fouls while attempting the second-most free throws per game.
Dallas’ unique offense is all about star Luka Doncic. Luka finds himself in the middle of an incredible season. The Slovenian superstar averages 33.4 PPG, 8.9 RPG and 8.3 APG. With an incredible 37.5% usage rate, Doncic has the ball in his hands all the time. Yet he still manages to shoot 50% from the field and 36% from three despite so much defensive pressure. Plus, he’s coming out of his most notable production of the season. In their win over Detroit on Monday, Doncic scored 53 points on 17/24 shooting. He dropped a 34-point triple-double in their last meeting with New Orleans and will likely approach those numbers given his recent performances.
The X factor for the Mavericks tonight is guard Spencer Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie has been scorching in his last five games, averaging 24.8 PPG and 6.4 APG. Shooting 40% from beyond the arc this season, don’t be surprised if Dinwiddie fires up New Orleans tonight.
Pelicans-Mavericks final prediction and pick
New Orleans doesn’t appear to be winning, but I expect them to keep things tight tonight as Ingram continues to get back into shape.
Pelicans-Mavericks final prediction and pick: New Orleans Pelicans +4.5 (-110)