New Orleans Pelicans 2019-20 Betting Predictions, Odds and Expert Best Bets
Best Bet – New Orleans Pelicans Under 38.5 wins (+100)
Worst Bet – New Orleans Pelicans to win the NBA Championship (+8000)
The Pelicans obviously had a terrible season last year, hence why they got the first overall pick. To no surprise they drafted Zion Williamson out of the University of Duke. Another top 10 draft pick the Pelicans made was Jaxson Hayes, out of the University of Texas. Hayes will likely have the opportunity to take over the role as starting Center, but as a rookie, it may take some time for him to develop into a solid player.
The Pelicans also made a blockbuster trade with the Lakers this offseason. They received several young players, including Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart in return for giving up Anthony Davis. They also added veteran, JJ Reddick in free agency, who I believe can help mentor some of these young guards.
The moves made by the Pelicans are promising and they certainly had a successful draft. However, they are still young and need to have realistic expectations for the upcoming season. Let us now look at a few prop bets and how you should attack them knowing what the Pelicans have and do not have.
New Orleans Pelicans Win Total: O/U 38.5 Wins
This is a hard prop to predict because the loss of Anthony Davis is huge. The Pelicans had 33 wins last season, and now have added a potential star in Zion Williamson. He is still a rookie and no matter what the experts say, will still have to adapt to the league. One of the biggest problems I see is the frontcourt for the Pelicans. Sure, they have Hayes, but they lost Julius Randle in free agency. Randle averaged 21.4 points per game with the Pelicans last season, so filling his shoes is going to be a huge issue.
They now have Derrick Favors as their Power Forward, but this will likely not be good enough long term. Favors averaged 11.8 points per game in 2018-2019 with the Utah Jazz, and I see a similar stat line for this season as well.
I believe the Pelicans will improve slightly on last season with all their additions, but I would still take the under as they are still weak in a few areas.
Odds to make the playoffs: Yes +240, No -280
If you look at the top 8 seeds in the Western Conference from last season, you will see that many of these teams have improved and therefore will not be dropping out of the playoff conversation. Then you have the Lakers, who missed the playoffs last year. They however, added Anthony Davis as I have mentioned which should make them at least a contender to snag a postseason spot. That said, the Pelicans are looking like the tenth best team in the West and that is pushing it a little.
Hypothetically, let’s just say that the Oklahoma City Thunder miss the playoffs having traded away Russell Westbrook and Paul George. The Clippers are going to move up in the standings and I think the Lakers will sneak in as well. The Warriors are another team that may still make it despite having injuries and having made other roster moves. The Pelicans will then have to compete with several other teams including the San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, and Minnesota Timberwolves for a potential 8th seed. I do not believe the Pelicans are ready to make that push yet and therefore see them finishing as a 9th-11th seed.
This is not a prop I like at all. There are too many teams that I think will be fighting for the 8th seed and I do not have much confidence that the Pelicans can beat out these other teams. The price for “No” is also a little steep, so I would honestly stay away from betting this prop at all. We do not know how the Pelicans’ rookies will preform an even some of their recently acquired talent are question marks in terms of how they will play.
Odds to win Southwest Division: +1400
Winning the division seems very unlikely now that the Rockets have acquired Russell Westbrook to play alongside James Harden. There is also the San Antonio Spurs, who are almost definitely going to have a good season as well. The Pelicans finished third in the Southwest last season. They finished 15-games behind the second place San Antonio Spurs and 20-games behind the first place Houston Rockets. Considering the Rockets could be better with Westbrook instead of Chris Paul, I would stay far away from this prop.
The Pelicans may have a better season in 2019-2020, but they will not beat the Rockets in the division race. They may not even beat the San Antonio Spurs and you should not even consider betting this prop, no matter how good the line looks.
Odds to win the Western Conference: +5000
Again, this is another prop that has pretty much no chance of hitting. Without even mentioning the Rockets, you have the Clippers and the Lakers, who both have better chances to win the conference. Factor in the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trailblazers, and the Utah Jazz, another three teams that have established better teams than this young New Orleans squad. The Pelicans are way too young and need to focus on just having a winning season rather than trying to win a West Conference title with their guard heavy roster.
I do not care if the Pelicans have Zion Williamson, they will not be winning the Western Conference for a long time.
Odds to win the NBA Championship: +8000
Betting this prop would be like handing your money to the betting window, knowing you will never see it again. Crazy things have happened, but this will not be one of them.
New Orleans will be lucky to make it to the postseason, so winning a title is out of the question.