Golden State will look to continue their sensational record in the NBA when they visit the Big Easy to take on New Orleans. The Warriors have been money all year, will that continue tonight?
Golden State is making a quick trip west into the Central Time Zone, having faced Dallas last evening and New Orleans tonight before returning for a Sunday contest with Cleveland. The Warriors have a league-best record of 29-8 and are in the Top 3 teams to back at 23-15 ATS in The Association.
It has been another rough year for New Orleans at 13-25 (16-22 ATS) and top pick Zion Williamson has not seen the floor this year and there is no timetable for that to happen with continued issues in rehab. Though not for certain, there are whispers of another Greg Oden scenario that could play out and we like everyone hopes that’s not the case.
Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Thursday, January 6, 2022 – 8:00 PM EST at Smoothie King Center
Golden State’s Roster Is Deep and Talented
There is a general belief that Stephen Curry could have his best season as a pro. If you look at his statistics, at least to this point, that’s unlikely to happen, but with how well Golden State is playing, that is an assumption.
The real truth is the Warriors are as deep as any team in the league which allows Curry to focus on what he does best and his teammates can cover up his defensive weaknesses. Case in point, in games last Saturday and Monday, Golden State had back-to-back games with 39 assists and the last time that happened was April of 1994 (Indiana). That is exceptional ball movement and great shooting from everyone who played.
Andrew Wiggins has found a home and he seems very comfortable in being a tremendous player without the fanfare. He’s Steve Kerr’s second-leading scorer and just plays the game instead of being the focal point.
Kerr’s second unit features Otto Porter Jr., Andre Iguodala, Gary Payton II, and Damion Lee and they are lethal to opposing teams most nights. This club is that good thanks to a front office that listens to Kerr.
New Orleans Needs Help in Two Areas and Only One Involves a Trade
When reviewing the NBA odds and looking at stats, New Orleans has a number that stands out like a six-year-old with a real tattoo. The Pelicans permit on average 13.1 three-point made baskets per game. Not a good number, yet, not a bad one either. What is bad is New Orleans allows their opponents to convert at a 37.5 percent rate, which is the worst in the NBA.
It would be one thing if the Pelicans played defense like Milwaukee, who gives up 14 treys a game but does exceptional work in protecting the paint and is 6th in field goal percentage defense. That’s not the case with coach Willie Green’s defense, which is 28th in that category. This hurts the Pels badly.
What also hurts New Orleans is a lack of bench scoring, ranked 24th in the league. Teams like Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Brooklyn rank below the Pelicans in the area, however, their starting players feature two or three players who put up large numbers. Green’s team does have those kinds of players and needs more help when the starters like Brandon Ingram, Jonas Valanciunas, and Devonte’ Graham need a rest.
Warriors vs. Pelicans Free Pick Prediction
For our NBA picks, making a selection looked much easier before Golden State was routed last night by Dallas. Here is the dilemma, does Curry bust out of his mini-slump? Are the Warriors in a bit of a funk presently?
And as good as they are, do you want to back a team that is 5-9 ATS in their last 14 outings and was won by +0.5 PPG in the back end of five contests playing on consecutive nights? All great questions.
In this case, we’ll lean with taking the Pelicans hoping the Warriors don’t have a bust-out performance, having a couple of models that suggest Curry’s crew wins by five or less.
*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.