The New Orleans Pelicans (8-7) and Los Angeles Clippers (6-7) find themselves in the play-in picture at the moment early in this 2023-24 season, but New Orleans can clinch a spot in the knockout round for the In-Season Tournament with a win Friday night. Both teams are in good spirits ahead of this game, with the Pelicans winning their last two and the Clippers triumphing in their last three games.
CJ McCollum remains sidelined for the Pelicans as he recovers from a collapsed lung, though he is practicing with the team. Norman Powell is questionable for LA with a groin injury.
The Clippers are 5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total coming in at 226.5. Los Angeles is -205 on the moneyline while New Orleans is +170.
Pelicans vs. Clippers, 10:30 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Pelicans +5
The Clippers are 3-2 ATS as a home favorite this season, while the Pelicans are 2-2-1 ATS as a road underdog. This feels like a good spot for New Orleans to pull off the upset, especially with the chance to qualify for the In-Season Tournament knockout round. The Clippers are excellent at home with a 4-1 record straight up, but I like the Pelicans to at least cover if not win outright given the stakes.
Over/Under: Under 226.5
The Pelicans are 7-8 on overs this season, while the Clippers are 4-8-1. Both teams are near the league average in offensive rating, with New Orleans ranking 17th and LA ranking 16th. The Pelicans are 13th in defensive rating, while the Clippers rank seventh. LA is 1-3-1 to the over as the home team and New Orleans is 2-3 to the over as the road team. Effectively every trend suggests the under should hit in this contest, so that’s what I’ll pick here.