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Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Clippers Betting Preview

As we enter the last week of the regular season, teams around the NBA are jockeying for playoff position. Two of those teams will square off Sunday night in a Western Conference showdown as the New Orleans Pelicans (34-43, ninth in West) take on the Los Angeles Clippers (38-40, eighth in the West).

In what could be a preview of the play-in tournament, the Clippers will host this one at the Arena, with tipoff scheduled for 9:30 pm ET.

Despite sitting nine games under .500, the Pelicans sit in a playoff spot and have played better as of late, winning three in a row. On Friday, they took down the Lakers 114-11.

In the win, C.J. McCollum had a team-high 32 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas combined for 46 points, 20 rebounds, and 13 assists.

The Clippers have struggled as of late, losing seven of their last ten. Despite their struggles, they are coming off of a 153-119 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.

With several starters out on both sides, it was Robert Covington leading the way for the Clippers with a game-high 43 points. Amir Coffey and Luke Kennard combined for 55 points in the victory.

The Clippers are the slight favorites in this one playing at home. They are -136 to win while the Pelicans’ moneyline sits at +116. The spread features New Orleans +2.5, and the over/under for total points is 223.

By The Numbers

Both of these teams struggle offensively. New Orleans ranks 20th in the NBA in scoring, averaging 109 points per game (106.8 on the road). The Clippers rank 23rd averaging 107.7.

Defensively, it is the Clippers with the slight edge. They rank 11th in scoring defense allowing opponents an average of just 108.9 points per game. The Pelicans rank 13th allowing 109.8 points.

New Orleans A Trendy Pick

While the Pelicans have struggled this season overall, there are a lot of trends going their way in this matchup. They are 5-0, both straight up and against the spread, in their last five games against the Clippers.

Furthermore, the Pelicans have gone a solid 6-2 ATS in their last eight games overall and 7-1 ATS in their last eight against teams from the Pacific Division.

Since being acquired, C.J. McCollum has been on an absolute tear for New Orleans. The shooting guard is averaging 26.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game.

Aside from McCollum, both Brandon Ingram (22.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.6 assists) and Jonas Valanciunas (18.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists) have been outstanding for the Pelicans.

Clippers Looking For Home Advantage

Despite a losing record overall, the Clippers have played pretty well at home. While they are 17-24 on the road, the Clippers are 21-16 at the Arena. On Sunday, they will look to utilize this advantage to take down New Orleans.

While the Pelicans have had success lately, the Clippers have had more long-term success. In fact, in their last 19 games against the Pelicans, Los Angeles is 14-5 straight up.

Despite sitting out on Friday, expect Paul George to play in this one. Limited to just 28 games this season, George is averaging 24.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 2.1 steals per game.

Other contributors for Los Angeles include Reggie Jackson (17.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.8 assists), Marcus Morris Sr (15.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists), and Luke Kennard (11.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists).

Take New Orleans And The Points

This one is a tough one to call. On the one hand, New Orleans has played the Clippers really tough the last several matchups. On the other hand, the Clippers have Paul George back and are playing at home, where they are significantly better.

Especially with the resurgence of C.J. McCollum and the return of Paul George, these teams are pretty similar in a lot of ways. Neither of them are atrocious on defense, and both are probably better than they get credit for statistically on offense.

With that in mind, expect this one to be pretty close throughout. For that reason, take the points. In this case, that means taking New Orleans +2.5.

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