Pelicans vs Trail Blazers Prediction for March 12, 2023

Pelicans vs Trail Blazers Prediction for March 12, 2023

 

Odds

Time 7:00 p.m. EST
Trail Blazers money line +138
Trail Blazers spread +3 (-110)
New Pelicans money line -148
New Pelicans spread -3 (-110)
Over / under 231.5

 

2022-2023 season stats

  Portland Trail Blazers New Orleans New Pelicans
Record 31-36 32-34
Home / road record 14-21 21-11
Streak L2 W1
Points per game 114.00 114.00
Points allowed per game 115.00 113.00
Rebounds per game 42.00 44.00
Rebounds allowed per game 43.00 43.00
Over / under record 32-34-1 33-33
 

Preview

On Sunday night, the New Orleans Pelicans will host the Portland Trail Blazers in a crucial match-up between two Western Conference teams fighting for a playoff spot. Currently, the Pelicans hold the 10th and final playoff position in the conference, while the Blazers sit in 13th place, only 1.5 games behind New Orleans. In this season's two previous meetings, each team has won on the road. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7:00 p.m. EST at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. In this article, we will provide an in-depth preview of both teams, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and past performances to predict the likely outcome of this exciting matchup.

 

Portland Trail Blazers

The Western Conference is always competitive, and it's no different this year. Portland is currently sitting in 10th place, tied with three other teams for the final play-in spot. They're on the road for this game, which has been a challenge for them this season, with a 14-19 record away from home. But even without starting center Jusuf Nurkic, they have a key player who has been carrying the team: Damian Lillard.

Lillard has been on fire since the start of 2023, averaging 36.1 points, 7.2 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game. In their recent win against the Miami Heat, Lillard finished with a triple-double, scoring 31 points, grabbing 13 rebounds, and dishing out 12 assists. Despite being outrebounded by 14, Portland managed to lead wire-to-wire and cover the spread.

Portland's offensive rating this season is sixth in the league, thanks in large part to Lillard's scoring ability. The team has an effective field goal percentage of 55.9%, which ranks ninth in the NBA, and they shoot the three-ball at a clip of 37.5%, the eighth-highest in the league. The Blazers also excel at free-throw shooting, hitting 80.6% of their attempts, good for sixth in the league. However, they struggle with turnovers, ranking 22nd in offensive turnover percentage.

On the other hand, the Blazers have struggled on the defensive end, with a rating that's 27th in the league. While they don't allow many three-point attempts, ranking fifth in the league, they rank in the bottom half of nearly every other defensive statistic.

Overall, the Blazers are in a tough spot, fighting for a playoff spot in a tight Western Conference race. With Lillard's hot hand, they'll have a chance in any game, but their defensive struggles and inconsistent play on the road make it difficult to predict their success.

 

New Orleans New Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans have had a challenging season with injuries and player movement affecting their performance. Despite their struggles, the team has been solid at home, winning 21 out of 32 games at the Smoothie King Center. However, they will need to step up their game if they hope to secure a win against the Orlando Magic.

The Pelicans are led by CJ McCollum, who has been a consistent scorer for the team, averaging 21.1 points per game and making 2.8 3-pointers per game. Jonas Valanciunas has also been in excellent form, shooting an impressive 60.8% and averaging 15.5 points per game in the last 10 games. However, the team will be missing their star player, Zion Williamson, who is currently out with a hamstring injury.

The absence of Williamson has been a significant blow to the Pelicans' performance. He is a dynamic player who can score from anywhere on the court, averaging 27.0 points per game this season. Without him, the Pelicans have struggled to maintain their offensive rhythm, scoring only 112.7 points per game in their last 10 games. However, the team has shown resilience and the ability to compete without him, with McCollum and Valanciunas stepping up to fill the void.

Mike Conley has also been an essential contributor to the Pelicans' success, averaging 10.7 points and 7.6 assists per game. His playmaking ability has been crucial to the team's offensive flow, as he consistently finds his teammates in scoring positions. Lauri Markkanen has been in excellent form over the past 10 games, averaging 24.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. His scoring and rebounding have been a significant boost for the Pelicans, especially in Williamson's absence.

On the defensive end, the Pelicans have struggled to contain their opponents, allowing an average of 115.6 points per game in their last 10 games. The team has also been outrebounded by their opponents, with an average of 44.0 rebounds per game compared to their opponents' 48.0 rebounds per game. The Pelicans will need to address these defensive and rebounding issues if they hope to turn their season around.

Injuries have been a significant factor in the Pelicans' struggles this season. In addition to Williamson, E.J. Liddell is out with a knee injury, while Larry Nance Jr. is listed as out with a groin injury. The team will need to rely on their depth and the next man up mentality to fill the void left by these injuries.

 

BETTING TRENDS

Portland are 3-6 ATS in their last 9 games.

The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Portland's last 6 games.

Portland are 3-6 SU in their last 9 games.

New Orleans are 4-2 SU in their last 6 games played in March.

New Orleans are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games.

The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New Orleans' last 5 games.

New Orleans are 2-6 SU in their last 8 games.

The total has gone UNDER in 8 of New Orleans' last 12 games at home.

 

Prediction

With key players Nurkic, Simons, and Jerami Grant back in the lineup, the Blazers are looking to end their two-game losing streak and make a push for the playoffs. Damian Lillard's impressive form in recent games, where he has been averaging 36.1 points, 7.2 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game, could prove to be the difference-maker for the Blazers.

On the other hand, the Pelicans have had a challenging season with injuries, with the absence of Zion Williamson hurting their offensive rhythm. While CJ McCollum and Jonas Valanciunas have stepped up to fill the void, the Pelicans' struggles on defense and rebounding issues could make it difficult for them to contain Portland's offense.

Although the Pelicans have been solid at home, winning 21 out of 32 games at the Smoothie King Center, their recent form has been inconsistent. In their last 10 games, they have averaged only 112.7 points per game, and their defense has allowed an average of 115.6 points per game. These issues, coupled with Portland's impressive offensive rating, could make it difficult for the Pelicans to come away with a win.

Ultimately, with key players back in the lineup, the Blazers are expected to win this matchup. While the Pelicans have the potential to put up a fight, their injuries and defensive issues may ultimately be too much to overcome. With both teams fighting for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, this game could have significant implications for the rest of the season. Blazers fans will be hoping that their team can come out on top and continue their push towards the postseason.

 

PICK: Trail Blazers ML (+138)

 

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