Update: All of the Pelicans players on the injury report have been upgraded to probable, and the line is now Nuggets -6. The total has moved to 229.5. I’m still taking Pelicans +6 and will stick with the under of 229.5.
The Friday night NBA slate will feature the New Orleans Pelicans visiting the Denver Nuggets, a matchup that would be a first-round playoff series if the season ended today. Tipoff is set for 10 p.m. ET and the game will air on ESPN.
New Orleans (23-15) is cooking with six wins in its last seven contests and the team is coming off a 141-105 trouncing of the Warriors on Wednesday. The Pelicans put up 46 points in the first quarter and never looked back as all five of their starters scored at least 12 points in the win. Denver (26-13) wasn’t as fortunate on Wednesday, falling to the Jazz in a 124-111 road loss. This game got away from the defending champs early as Utah shot 55.4% from the field for the night.
On the injury front, Zion Williamson (quad), Brandon Ingram (Achilles soreness), and CJ McCollum (ankle), and Trey Murphy III are all listed as questionable for the Pelicans.
Denver enters the game as an 8.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, accompanied by a total of 228.5. The Nuggets are listed as a -355 moneyline favorite, making the Pelicans a +280 underdog.
Pelicans vs. Nuggets, 10 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Pelicans +8.5
New Orleans is rolling at the moment and even with its star players a bit dinged up, it should be able to give Denver a fight like it did it its 115-110 victory back on November 17. The Pelicans are 6-2-1 against the spread as a road underdog this season and are 13-9 against the spread following a win. I’m taking NOLA to cover here.
Over/Under: Under 228.5
Denver is the second-most under-friendly team in the league with an O/U record of 16-23. Back at home after a loss, the Nuggets should at least make things more difficult for a Pelicans team that is surging at the moment. I’ll roll with the under.