- The New Orleans Pelicans have won four of their last five, including two overtime victories
- Paul George is out with a hamstring issue
- Get the odds, our pick, and all the info you need to bet the game below
The New Orleans Pelicans, one of the hottest teams in the NBA, are hosting the Los Angeles Clippers at Smoothie King Center on January 18th. The Clippers vs Pelicans odds favor the visitors, but the Pelicans are an exciting team right now after overtime wins against the Nuggets and Jazz. They have reeled off four wins in their last five outings.
The Clips’ games are overreacted to, each result taken for some definitive conclusion. Their best players aren’t sharing the floor all that often, and they’re only one game back in the loss column from the second seed in the Western Conference.
Los Angeles Clippers vs New Orleans Pelicans Odds
|Los Angeles Clippers||-5.5 (-110)||-220||Ov 233.5 (-110)|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+5.5 (-110)||+190||Un 233.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Jan. 18.
Paul George Injury
Paul George is travelling with the team for the start of a five-game roadtrip, but is out for the game in New Orleans. The Clippers have a back-to-back coming up, meaning Kawhi Leonard will sit out one of those two games. George could target the game that misses Leonard misses for a return.
The Clippers are 19-7 in games that George has played and they recently lost to Denver without him. He’s obviously a big loss for Doc Rivers, but Kawhi Leonard will be available on Saturday on the back of an efficient, 32-point outing against the Orlando Magic.
Jrue Holiday, who has had some epic duels with George in the past, is out for the Pels. Holiday is New Orleans’ best defender, and will likely been given the Leonard assignment at times. New Orleans are 26th in defensive rating since the turn of the year, and don’t have an obvious option to throw at the two-time Finals MVP.
Brandon Ingram should be heading to Chicago for the All-Star game next month. The 2016 second overall pick put up 49 points against Utah on just 25 shots. He’s become a great ball handler in the pick-and-roll, and has seen his assist rate almost double from last season.
— Lonzo Ball (@ZO2_) January 17, 2020
The Clippers have given up 0.93 points per opponent pick-and-roll possession (fourth-highest in the NBA). New Orleans ranks middle of the pack in pick-and-roll frequency, but we could see Ingram run them frequently with Derrick Favors, who he dished six assists to in the win over the Jazz.
Ingram is the Pelicans’ major offensive weapon, and the former Laker has blossomed with Zion Williamson sidelined. The Clippers have a defensive rating of 111.3 in January, way higher than their season average.
Leonard will likely be Ingram’s primary defender on Saturday afternoon. Patrick Beverley is an option too, of course, but the aggressive guard has a size disadvantage against Ingram.
The Pelicans are potentially without their second and third-highest scorers with Holiday out and J.J. Redick questionable. They need a big night from Ingram if they are to upset the odds.
Injuries to Hurt New Orleans
While the Pels have good depth, the absence of Holiday will hurt on Saturday, and Redick’s shooting will be sorely missed if he sits out his fourth consecutive game.
In Leonard, the Clippers have arguably the best player in the league to put on Ingram. New Orleans will be relying on Ingram for another big night, and if Leonard can force him to give the ball up or take contested mid-rangers, the game should swing in the Clips’ favor.
With the line at 5.5, the visitors are the team to back. Leonard is averaging over 35 points per game over his last four, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him go past that average at Smoothie King Center.
Pick: Los Angeles Clippers -5.5 (-110)
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