New Orleans Pelicans vs. Washington Wizards Betting Predictions

Pelicans vs Wizards NBA
New Orleans vs. Washington, NBA Betting Predictions, January 27

Two slumping teams meet in New Orleans as the struggling New Orleans Pelicans have a chance to end a long losing skid Wednesday against the shorthanded Washington Wizards. It’s been a long few weeks for Washington with a COVID-19 outbreak that postponed six games then the Wizards have lost twice on this short three-game road trip. It will likely be a clean sweep as the healthy Pelicans should feast on a tired and depleted Wizards roster on the second night of a back-to-back for the visitors.

Pelicans vs. Wizards Betting Odds

This is a game between two teams that are really going through a rough time at the moment. The Washington Wizards are in New Orleans playing for the third night in four days having lost five of their last six games in a stretch that was interrupted for two weeks due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The New Orleans Pelicans have lost three straight and eight of their last nine games as they welcome the hapless Wizards to the Smoothie King Center.

I was initially very skeptical about the NBA betting sites in New Jersey setting up New Orleans as 7.5-point favorites despite being at home. But if you look at the lineup Washington is forced to play in this game, it all begins to make more sense. The Wizards have been reduced to Bradley Beal, Robin Lopez, Russell Westbrook and a bunch of journeymen for the time being. First-round pick Deni Avidja is out due to the health and safety protocols along with Davis Bertens and Rui Hachimura, two of the six players averaging in double figures for Washington this season. Thomas Bryant is out for the year with a torn ACL as well, leaving Len as the only other player averaging at least 10 points a game that is healthy for the Wizards along with Beal and Westbrook.

If there was a bet out there for who will score the most points in this game, Beal is a pretty safe bet. If the basketball betting sites in New Jersey offered odds on Beal to score at least 30 points in Wednesday’s game, I would be all over that wager as well. He is averaging 34.5 points per game and has scored 30 points in five straight games and six of his last seven. He is the only bright spot in a pretty horrific season so far for the Wizards. Even Westbrook has not yet met expectations, though he has had some injury issues to deal with in addition to the depleted roster around him.

The real question then is if I have enough confidence in the Pelicans to win this game by at least eight points. Washington has come off its two-week layoff to suffer two losses by an average of 19.5 points on this road trip, but the Rockets and Spurs are much better than New Orleans right now. However, the Pelicans are healthy and fairly well-rested having not played since Saturday. Zion Williamson is going to be matchup nightmare for the shorthanded Wizards and Brandon Ingram is having a fantastic year for the Pelicans. Both are averaging at least 23 points per game and the support from Eric Bledsoe and Lonzo Ball should be more than enough to push New Orleans over the top.

The -330 odds on the Pelicans to win aren’t worthwhile to make a wager, and I’m not sure the -110 odds on the 7.5-point spread is good enough either. My safe bet would be to bet the Pelicans to win by at least 11 at +140 odds at the legal betting sites in New Jersey. But the more risky play would be to limit that winning margin down to a five-point range. I’m torn between New Orleans winning by 16-20 points at +750 odds and the Pelicans winning by 21-25 for +1100, but I could also bet both as a precaution and earn back my money with the payout on those odds.

My Prediction

New Orleans -7.5

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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