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Los Angeles Clippers at New Orleans Pelicans odds, picks and prediction

Apr 18, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) looks to pass against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers (43-19) are in the Big Easy Monday for an 8 p.m. ET game against the host New Orleans Pelicans (26-34) at Smoothie King Center. Below, we analyze the Clippers-Pelicans odds and lines, with NBA picks and predictions.

L.A., has won four games in a row and 11 of its last 12. The Clippers are also on an 8-3-1 against the spread (ATS) run over those 12 games. The hot streak has come despite SF Kawhi Leonard and SG Paul George both missing games with Leonard sidelined for the last three.

NOLA lost five of its last six games and went 1-5 ATS, including a 110-108 loss to the San Antonio Spurs as 3-point home favorites Saturday. The Pelicans’ playoff hopes are fleeting as they are 4.5 games behind the 10th-seeded Golden State Warriors for the final spot in the postseason play-in tournament.

This the Clippers-Pelicans rubber match as the home team won each of the first two regular-season meetings. Both Leonard and George played in each of the first two meetings.

Clippers at Pelicans: Odds, spread and lines

Odds via BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated at 4:05 p.m. ET.

  • Money line: Clippers -135 (bet $135 to win $100) | Pelicans +110 (bet $100 to win $110)
  • Against the spread/ATS: Clippers -2 (-115) | Pelicans +2 (-105)
  • Over/Under: 227.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

Clippers at Pelicans: Key injuries

Clippers

  • PG Rajon Rondo (wrist) questionable
  • PG Patrick Beverley (hand) out
  • SF Kawhi Leonard (foot) out
  • PF Serge Ibaka (back) out
  • SG Luke Kennard (rest) out

Pelicans

  • Steven Adams (toe) questionable
  • SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker (ankle) out
  • SF James Johnson (groin) questionable
  • SG Josh Hart (thumb) out

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Clippers at Pelicans: Odds, lines, predictions and picks

Prediction

Pelicans 119, Clippers 116

Money line (ML)

PASS because I slightly “lean” to New Orleans plus the points but I don’t have a strong enough read of the sides’ market in Clippers-Pelicans.

This young NOLA team doesn’t have the know-how to win games it should and L.A., keeps beating teams regardless of who’s missing from their starting lineup.

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Against the spread (ATS)

Slight “LEAN” to the PELICANS +2 (-105) for a half unit because NOLA is 8-4 ATS as a home underdog and is at the point where every game is a “must-win”.

Furthermore, we are getting “reverse line movement”, which is always a red flag when betting on sports. Nearly 95% of the money wagered is on the Clippers but they’ve been steamed down from 3.5-point opening favorites, according to Pregame.com.

“Reverse line movement” is when the bookmakers make the more popular side cheaper and sometimes suggests which side the House prefers.

Over/Under (O/U)

For me, there’s value on the Over because the absence of Kawhi has caused an over adjustment to the total from one Clippers-Pelicans game to the next.

Obviously, Leonard is one of the best players on both ends of the floor, but the Pelicans have one of the worst defenses in the Association and his absence could lead to more 3-point attempts from the Clippers.

That’s bad news for a Pelicans team with the third-worst 3-point defense trying to guard a Clippers squad with a league-best 41.9% rate from beyond the 3-point arc.

BET OVER 227.5 (-110) for three-fourths of a unit.

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