Can the Pelicans clinch a playoff spot? The Pelicans (42-39) will need to win on the road against the Timberwolves (41-40) if they are to avoid a play-in scenario and clinch a playoff position. The game is expected to tip-off at 03:30 PM ET, Sunday, April 9th, 2023.
Despite the belief that the Pelicans are expected to mount a last-ditch effort to clinch a playoff seed, they head to Minnesota as a 3.5 point underdog.
In their third encounter this season, the Timberwolves and Pelicans will face each other once again. On Jan. 26, the Timberwolves emerged victorious with a score of 111-102 against the Pelicans, with Anthony Edwards leading the team with 37 points, while New Orleans shooting guard CJ McCollum scored 25 points.
The ninth seed Timberwolves are just one game shy of the eighth seed Pelicans, with the teams matching up in the final game of the regular season for both sides. This game has huge seeding implications for both teams, a win for the Timberwolves would push them into the the eighth seed over their opponents and potentially into the seventh seed – should the Lakers lose their game against the Jazz.
Either way, a win would mean that Minnesota gain a more favorable play-in position and the improved seeding would give them an extra chance at the playoffs if they were to lose their first play-in game.
On the other side, if the Pelicans are able to come away with the road win, they’ll clinch the eight seed. NOLA would also have the opportunity to secure a playoff seeding as high as the fifth seed, if the Warriors were to lose their matchup against the Blazers and the Clippers lose to the Suns.
ODDS AND PREDICTIONS
The Pelicans are currently in better shape than the T-Wolves, despite not performing well on the road this season, and the favorites to win this game. They have triumphed in four out of their last five matches against formidable opponents. Moreover, the Pelicans are well-rested for this game, while all the Timberwolves starters played 25+ minutes in the first leg of their back-to-back home stand.
On the last six occasions when the Pelicans faced the Timberwolves on the road, they have covered the spread in five of them. This trend is expected to continue. Although a closely contested game is anticipated and the Timberwolves could come away the better team. But the Pels are expected to put up a strong fight and, at the very least, cover the spread.
Considering all these factors, it’s recommended to take the Pelicans +3.5. However, it’s important to keep in mind that sports betting always involves a degree of risk, and there’s no guarantee that this Pelicans unit will perform as well as expected against a relatively full strength Timberwolves lineup. As always, it’s essential to do your research and make an informed decision based on the available data.
Spread: Timberwolves -3.5
Moneyline: Timberwolves -162, Pelicans +135
Pick: Pelicans +3.5
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