Pelicans Celtics prediction, pick how to watch

The New Orleans Pelicans (25-16) visit the Boston Celtics (29-12) on Wednesday night. Promotion ends at 7:40pm ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Pelicans Celtics prediction and selection.

New Orleans has lost two of its last three games but still sits third in the Western Conference. The Pelicans covered 51% of their games while exceeding 59% of their games by the predicted number of points. Boston has won three straight games and remains first in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics covered 54% of their games while going 51% wide. This will be the second and final meeting between the two teams. The Celtics won the first matchup 117-109 in New Orleans.

Here are the Pelicans-Celtics NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel

NBA Odds: Pelicans Celtics Odds

New Orleans Pelicans: +9.5 (-110)

Boston Celtics: -9.5 (-110)

About: 231 (-110)

Below: 231 (-110)

How to watch Pelicans vs. Celtics

Television: Bally New Orleans, NBCS Boston

Stream: NBA League Pass

Time: 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT

*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for free trial)*

Why the pelicans could cover the spread

New Orleans is trying to stay in place with Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. Things aren’t getting any easier tonight as their top defender, Herb Jones, is in doubt about playing. That being said, thanks to their work at depth, the pelicans still have a chance of covering the spread. New Orleans ranks fifth in rebounding (54.1 RPG) and fourth in paint points (55.5 PPG).

The charge is led by center Jonas Valanciunas. Valanciunas has been rock solid for the Pelicans this season. The Burley center averages 14.1 PPG and 9.7 RPG. He’s a nighttime double-double threat and has done so in each of the last five games. Valanciunas comes into the game tonight with a fresh 25 points and 10 straight rebounds. He’s taken on a much bigger role with New Orleans’ injuries and should have another big night tonight against a Boston team who just gave up 21 points and 13 rebounds to Nikola Vucevic.

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Perhaps the most surprising contribution in recent games, Naji Marshall’s hot play gives New Orleans a strong chance to cover tonight. The third-year winger played sparingly in his first two seasons but has really stepped up with his injuries. In his last five games, Marshall averaged 18.2 PPG and 5.2 RPG. He was particularly effective in the last three, scoring 23, 24 and 18 points.

By far the most important part of a potential New Orleans cover is guard CJ McCollum. McCollum has averaged 20.8 PPG and 5.8 APG for the season but has been red hot lately. In his last four games, the veteran averaged 30 PPG while shooting 49% from the floor. During that span, he averaged 4.3 threes per game, which is a 48% clip. Boston held him to 18 points on 39% shooting in the first matchup, but given his recent performances, a rebound seems imminent.

Why the Celtics could cover the spread

Boston continues to be one of the best teams in the NBA, thanks largely to their red-hot offense. The Celtics are second in scoring (118.5 PPG) and third in made threes (15.5 3PM/game). They are excellent with the ball and rank first in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.97). While their defense is average, they held New Orleans to 109 points in their previous matchup. The Celtics are now getting the undermanned Pelicans at home, where they have a 16-5 record.

The Celtics’ best chance of covering tonight is on the shoulders of their Star Wings. Jayson Tatum ranks fourth in the league with 30.8 PPG while leading the team with 8.1 RPG. Tatum remains a strong passer, averaging 4.0 APG, and he showed that in their previous matchup against New Orleans when he dished out 10 assists. Though he only scored 19 points against the Pelicans, his most recent game suggests he should be due for a rebound performance. Tatum has 25+ points in 11 straight games and is coming off an excellent 32-point game against the Bulls.

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Running mate Jaylen Brown is right there with Tatum, averaging 26.8 PPG. Like Tatum, Brown is a strong contributor to the glass (6.9 RPG) and is an underrated passer (3.3 APG). New Orleans didn’t have an answer for Brown in the first meeting, as Brown had a game-high 27 points on 10/20 shooting. Although his outside shot didn’t come off, given his track record against the Pelicans, he has a strong chance of getting back on track.

Final Pelicans Celtics Prediction & Selection

New Orleans did admirably with its two stars. Boston, meanwhile, has shown cracks in its armor but still maintains the NBA’s best record. In a home game, I like that the Celtics handle the Pelicans comfortably and cover the spread.

Pelicans Celtics Final Prediction & Pick: Boston Celtics -9.5 (-110)

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