76ers at Pelicans NBA Pick for February 25th

by Taylor Smith
on February 25, 2019
5

Minute Read

Sunday brought us just three games in the NBA, but we have a hefty 11-game schedule on tap for Monday night. Vegas seems to think that the Philadelphia 76ers’ visit to take on the Pelicans in the Big Easy will wind up being the closest game of the night. In fact, it’s the lone pick’em game on the slate.

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Joel Embiid will be sidelined for the next few games as he continues to deal with soreness in his knee. Embiid has missed both games for Philly since the All-Star break, which has led Brett Brown to start former Clippers big man Boban Marjanovic in his place. Philadelphia is 1-1 in the two games since Embiid went down, with the most recent outing being a blowout loss at home against the Blazers on Saturday afternoon.

The Pelicans, frankly, are a mess. The Anthony Davis saga continues to drag on. New Orleans hasn’t shut Davis down, so the All-Star big man continues to log minutes despite having requested a trade. NBA rules prohibit the Pelicans from just making Davis a healthy scratch, so they have to awkwardly keep him in the rotation for the time being. Davis played 20 minutes in Friday’s game before sitting out of Saturday’s win over the Lakers for “rest” purposes.

The following odds are courtesy of our live odds feed:

Betting Data 76ers Pelicans
2019 Straight-Up 38-22 27-34
2019 Home 24-8 18-11
2019 Away 14-14 9-23
2019 ATS 28-32-0 29-31-1
2019 ATS Home 16-16-0 15-14-0
2019 ATS Away 12-16-0 14-16-1
2019 O/U 31-29-0 33-28-0
2019 O/U Home 17-15-0 15-14-0
2019 O/U Away 14-14-0 18-14-0

Sixers’ Troubles

Sixers general manager Elton Brand has made two massive trades in his first season on the job. The first move was to get star wing Jimmy Butler from the Timberwolves back in November. Then, just before the trade deadline, Philly nabbed high-scoring swingman Tobias Harris as well as Marjanovic from the Clippers. Both moves were made with an eye on helping get the Sixers through the Eastern Conference.

However, things haven’t been so smooth. Not yet, at least. The Sixers are still only in fourth place in the East, though they’re only two games back of the Pacers for the No. 3 spot. Embiid’s absence is obviously an important one, as it leaves an average of 18.6 shots per game for others to take. Ben Simmons has stepped it up in a big way in the two games Embiid has missed thus far, as he scored a season-high 29 points along with 10 assists and seven rebounds in the aforementioned loss to Portland.

I’m counting on some of Philly’s better offensive players to step up tonight. J.J. Redick has really struggled since the break. The sharpshooter connected on just four of his 12 looks in the first game after the break, and he followed that up by shooting just one for 10 on Saturday. Considering he’s a 39.1 percent 3-point shooter on the season, those kinds of nights are rare for him. Redick should get back on track tonight against a New Orleans team that doesn’t like to play a whole lot of defense.

Unpredictable Pelicans

With Davis out of the lineup on Saturday night, the Pelicans rolled to a 128-115 win over LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. The game not only dealt a blow to the Lakers’ fleeting playoff hopes, but it showed that the Pelicans are still capable of rising up and beating teams every now and then. Despite all of the internal strife, there is still some decent talent on this roster.

Davis’ presence just seems to drag everybody else down. The last time he played, the Pelicans were beaten 126-111 by the Pacers, though limiting Davis’ minutes did give Alvin Gentry the chance to see what some of the younger players can contribute. Cheick Diallo logged 26 minutes off the bench that night and finished with 16 points and 18 rebounds. Against the Lakers, Diallo chimed in with another 18 points and 10 boards in 19 minutes of action.

It seems as though the Pelicans are punting on the playoff race. New Orleans isn’t out of it yet, but Gentry said that he plans to limit the minutes of Jrue Holiday after the All-Star break, as well. Holiday did play 33 minutes against L.A., but he only saw 25 minutes of action against the Pacers. Obviously, keeping the minutes down for the team’s better players is going to hamper their chances of winning games moving forward.

The Pick

The Sixers may be without Embiid, but I would be betting on them all day here considering the game is a toss-up, according to Vegas. Philly’s effort against Portland was discouraging, but the Blazers are a legitimate playoff-caliber outfit. Even with Davis presumably in the lineup tonight, the same cannot be said about these Pelicans.

I think you should absolutely be betting on Philadelphia to win this game outright. Whether that means taking them as a pick’em against the spread or on the moneyline is up to you.

The Sixers are going to win this game tonight.
Pick: 76ers -1
-113

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