The NBA Play-In tournament continues on Wednesday after a wild start to things on Tuesday. Will the San Antonio Spurs or New Orleans Pelicans advance in the tournament and which one will head for the offseason? Below, we’ll break down the NBA odds for this matchup and share not one but two winning picks. Let’s go.
San Antonio Spurs vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Wednesday, April 13, 2022 – 09:30 PM EDT at Smoothie King Center
Spurs’ Are Undervalued
After the Pelicans acquired CJ McCollum from the Blazers a few months ago, the Pelicans went from a dark horse team with the potential to cover spreads as home underdogs, to public darlings.
It was a complete turnaround from where they started the season. New Orleans struggled mightily out of the gate and after Brandon Ingram got hurt, it looked as if they should have packed it in and headed for the offseason. The talk was all around if/when Zion Williamson would return, but since then, things have gotten a lot better for this team.
The problem is the public now knows this is a really good team. Ingram and McCollum are going to give the Spurs a lot of problems here, but I feel like they are being a little overvalued despite being solid favorites.
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For starters, the Spurs have some stars of their own. Some of them may just be future stars right now, but Dejounte Murray is as good or better than any player the Pelicans have. Jakob Poeltl is going to be a good counter to Jonas Valanciunas and Keldon Johnson is a future star in the making. His matchup with Ingram is one to watch here tonight.
Furthermore, the Spurs have an immense coaching advantage. While that may not play as easily in a single-elimination game as it would a seven-game series, the advantage the Spurs have with the experience of Gregg Popovich compared to rookie head coach Willie Green is going to stand out tonight.
The Sharp Picks
As you can probably guess, I’m riding with the Spurs tonight plus the points. Last night both underdogs should have covered if it wasn’t for the Clippers’ epic collapse at the end of the game.
I think tonight’s NBA game will play similarly. While I would not be surprised if both favorites won and covered, I think the Spurs are a pretty nice dark horse here to cover, or even win outright if things go their way on the road.
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Along with the Spurs plus the points, the first half under also looks good for a couple of reasons. Both of these teams are young and without a ton of playoff experience and that could play into some extra nerves heading into this winner take all game. If they are hyped up, shots will be bricks and the defense will be suffocating early in the game.
On top of that, the full game total has been getting hit hard on the under but the first half has stayed relatively the same.
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The Spurs have been great this season away from home, especially in the first halves. The Spurs finished in the top half of the league in road first-half defense this season with a DRtg of 111.2. The Spurs were also 23-16-2 ATS this season away from home and 19-12-1 ATS as a road underdog.
The Spurs are used to playing like this, but I don’t think the Pelicans are quite used to playing big games where they are supposed to win. I think all of this plays into the Spurs' covering and the first half being lower scoring. For the above reasons, invest in the spread and total 'under' the first half with your NBA picks.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.