The Pelicans (41-39) are no closer to a potential timeline for the return of star forward, Zion Williamson, as they desperately try to hold their less than favorable play-in seeding against the Knicks (47-33) tonight. Tip-off is scheduled for 08:00 PM ET on Friday, April 7th, 2023.
Off the back of a huge OT win against Memphis, the Pelicans head into this game a 7.5 point favorite.
It’s unclear when Williamson will return from his right hamstring strain which has kept him out of action since January 2. Regardless, Brandon Ingram and the Pelicans have landed themselves a guaranteed play-in position alongside the Los Angeles Lakers. Something they’ll be looking to improve upon when they host the Knicks, who are looking to extend a five game winning streak.
This will be the second time the two teams meet this season, with the Knicks winning the last game 128-106 on February 26. Julius Randle led the Knicks with 28 points, while Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 19 points. However, New York will be without three of their key players this time around: Julius Randle (ankle), Jalen Brunson (rest), and RJ Barrett (illness).
ODDS AND PREDICTIONS
For the Pelicans to win, it’s important they take an early lead in this game against the Knicks. Although the Knicks have been performing well lately, they haven’t faced any teams with a strong motivation to win in their last five games. The teams they played were either out of playoff contention or had nothing to play for.
On the other hand, NOLA are fighting for every win as they try to secure their spot in the playoffs. They need to win as many games as possible, and facing an easier team like the Knicks can help them rest their players before their next game against the Timberwolves, which is likely to be a more challenging match.
Given the Pelicans’ strong home record of 26-14 SU, they should be able to earn a win against a team of reserves with little-to-no interest in the end result. Therefore, the recommended pick is to bet on the Pelicans to cover the spread of -7.5.
It’s important to keep in mind that sports betting always involves a degree of risk, and there’s no guarantee that the Pelicans will perform as expected. As always, it’s essential to do your research and make an informed decision based on the available data.
Spread: Pelicans -7.5
Moneyline: Pelicans -320, Knicks +260
Pick: Pelicans -7.5
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