New Orleans Pelicans at Golden State Warriors NBA Pick for January 16th

by Taylor Smith
on January 16, 2019

It’s not fair to say that the Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans are rivals with one another, because a rivalry isn’t supposed to be one-sided. The Warriors have largely dominated the Pelicans in their matchups over the years, but they have at least been entertaining along the way.

These games have a David-vs.-Goliath type of feel to them. The Warriors, of course, have 4 All-Stars in the lineup every night, and they are set to add a fifth when DeMarcus Cousins returns from his Achilles injury at the end of this week.

The Pelicans have a decent supporting cast, but Anthony Davis is the only bona fide superstar on the roster. Whenever these 2 teams square off, it’s usually Davis trying to outgun Golden State’s high-octane quartet.

These teams have played some high-scoring showdowns in the past, as well. Their only previous meeting this season was a 131-121 shootout at Oracle Arena back on Halloween.

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The following odds are courtesy of live odds feed:

Betting Data Pelicans Warriors
2019 Straight-Up 21-23 30-14
2019 Home 15-6 17-6
2019 Away 6-17 13-8
2019 ATS 20-24-0 19-25-0
2019 ATS Home 11-10-0 10-13-0
2019 ATS Away 9-14-0 9-12-0
2019 O/U 23-21-0 24-20-0
2019 O/U Home 11-10-0 10-13-0
2019 O/U Away 12-11-0 14-7-0

Warriors’ Statement

Last night was a high-scoring night around the league. 3 different teams scored at least 140 points, and the 6 games were decided by an average of 28 points, which is the highest average margin of victory on a single night in the history of the NBA.

The Warriors contributed heavily to both accomplishments. Golden State traveled to Denver last night for a matchup between the top-2 teams in the Western Conference. The Nuggets had a chance to show the rest of the league that they are on par with the 2-time defending champs. Had Denver toppled the Warriors last night, the league would have been officially on notice.

Of course, that didn’t happen. The Warriors pummeled the Nuggets to the tune of 51 points in the first quarter, which was the most a team has scored in the first quarter of a game in the history of the league.

Denver wound up clawing back a bit, but the initial deficit was too steep to overcome. The Warriors marched into the Mile High City and came away with an incredibly impressive 142-111 victory.

Perhaps most importantly, Steve Kerr did not need to run his star players into the ground in order to get the result he wanted. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant each played 30 minutes, Draymond Green played 31 and Klay Thompson logged just 25. The game was so out of hand that Curry and Durant each sat out the entire fourth quarter.

The Pelicans present a unique challenge for opposing defenses, so the Warriors’ key cogs having fresh legs tonight is obviously important. The Warriors basically played a perfect offensive game last night. They shot 60 percent from the field and hit an incredible 21 of their 39 attempts from 3-point range (53.8 percent). Curry accounted for 8 of those triples, while Durant and Thompson hit 5 apiece.

The offensive explosion helped Golden State’s offensive rating on the season rise to 114.2 points per 100 possessions. That’s the best mark in the league, and it isn’t even close anymore. The surging Rockets own the league’s second-best offense, and they’re averaging 111.4 points per 100 possessions. Not to be outdone, the Pelicans rank fourth in the same department (111.2 points per 100 possessions).

Pace Factor

This game has one of the highest implied totals we’ve seen all year. And it makes total sense, of course. We have the top-ranked offense taking on the No. 4-ranked offense. These are also 2 of the fastest teams in the league. New Orleans averages 105 possessions per game, which is the fifth-most in basketball. The Warriors aren’t far behind at 102.9 possessions per game, which ranks 11th.

I mentioned that the Warriors’ important pieces didn’t need to play their full allotment of minutes last night, but the fact that they played last night at all is probably the reason for the spread being as close as it is.

The Warriors are typically double-digit favorites just about every time they step foot on their home floor. Tonight, they’re just 7-point favorites in their own building despite the fact that the Pelicans wouldn’t even be in the playoffs if the season ended today. New Orleans’ 21-23 record is good for just 12th in the Western Conference.

While the overall results haven’t been great, the Pelicans have been competitive lately. They have certainly benefited from a soft schedule of late that includes a couple of games against the NBA-worst Cavaliers as well as another matchup with the Grizzlies. It’s been over a month since this team was blown out, however. The Pelicans’ last double-digit defeat was a 113-100 loss in Boston against the Celtics back on December 10.

Davis is obviously the key to everything for this team. The Brow is averaging 29.4 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. Over his last 5 games, he’s averaging 34 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks. The other night in L.A. against the Clippers, Davis dropped 46 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Davis has accounted for at least 30 points in each of his last 4 games.

How the Warriors will stop him remains to be seen. Draymond Green is one of the better all-around defenders in basketball, but he doesn’t have the height or length to really bother A.D. Durant does have comparable physical dimensions, but he doesn’t have the strength to really muscle Davis off the block. Kevon Looney doesn’t have the footspeed to stay in front of him, either.

The Pick

On paper, this is a mismatch. That can be said every time the Warriors play, of course. Jrue Holiday and Julius Randle are nice players, but there’s a reason these teams are where they are in the standings.

That said, I do like the Pels’ chances of keeping this game competitive for 4 quarters for the reasons stated previously.

Even though the starters weren’t needed for their full minutes, the Warriors did still have to play last night at altitude in Denver before flying back to Northern California late last night. The Pelicans have been in town since their win in Los Angeles on Sunday. New Orleans should be pretty well-rested.

I still think the Warriors win this thing outright, but I think the Pelicans give them a game tonight.

So, take New Orleans to cover the 7 points at -112 here.
Pick: Pelicans +7

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Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, but he’s willing to take one for the team on that front every now and then.

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