New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Clippers odds, picks & predictions

injury update (2:27 p.m. ET): LA Clippers SG Paul George has been ruled out of this game after entering the NBA’s health and safety protocols. An updated analysis with updated predictions and picks will be coming shortly.

Original column below (published 1:34 am ET)

The No. 9 seed New Orleans Pelicans square off with the No. 8 seed Los Angeles Clippers Friday in an elimination game for the final spot in the Western Conference playoffs to play the No. 1 seed Phoenix Suns. Tip-off at the Crypto.com Arena in LA is set for 10 pm ET (TNT). Below, we look at the Pelicans vs. Clippers odds and linesand make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.

NOLA advanced to this game by beating the 10th-seed San Antonio Spurs 113-103 at home Wednesday, covering as a 5-point favorite.

LA stumbled into this winner-take-all game by losing to the 7th-seeded Timberwolves 109-104 in Minnesota Tuesday. The Clippers were 3-point underdogs in the loss.

The Pelicans beat the Clippers 3-1 during the regular season and covered the spread in all 4 games, while the O/U went 1-3.

Also see: Bet Slippin’ Podcast: NBA April 16 playoff breakdown

Pelicans at Clippers odds and lines

Odds provided by Typical Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 1:18 am ET.

Moneyline(ML): Pelicans +140 (bet $100 to win $140) | Clippers -175 (bet $175 to win $100)
Against the spread: Pelicans +3.5 (-105) | Clippers -3.5 (-120)
Over/Under: 215.5 (O: -108 | U: -112)

Pelicans at Clippers key injuries

Pelicans

FAQ Zion Williamson (foot) out

Clippers

SG luke kennard (hamstring) questionable SF Kawhi Leonard (knee)out

Pelicans at Clippers picks and predictions

prediction

Clippers 110, Pelicans 104

moneyline

PASS with a heavy “lean” toward the Clippers (-175) because I like them to win outright, but this ML price is a little too rich for my blood.

The Pelicans are arguably more talented than the Clippers sans Kawhi since New Orleans acquired SG CJ McCollum around the trade deadline.

However, LA has more continuity, better coaching, more big-game experience and the best player on the floor in SG Paul George.

New Orleans turned its season around after opening 1-12, but Los Angeles has a better record and non-garbage time net rating since the All-Star Game, according to CleaningTheGlass.com.

LA is the right side, but the price (-175) is too expensive.

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against the spread

BET CLIPPERS -3.5 (-120) FOR 0.75 UNITS.

Their role players should shoot better at home than they did at Minnesota Tuesday and they should pull away in the closing minutes of the game.

LA is 24-18 straight up in the “clutch” with a plus-10.8 net rating (ranked fifth) while New Orleans is just 14-18 SU with a minus-4.8 net rating in the “clutch” (ranked 25th). “Clutch” is defined by games within a 5-point margin inside of 5 minutes to play.

On top of that, the Pelicans are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games versus teams with a winning record and the Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a favorite.

It could be a sweat, but CLIPPERS -3.5 (-115) for 0.75 units is the play.

Over/Under

READ UNDER 215.5 (-112) only because it feels too easy and we are getting to the party a little late on the Under. This total opened at 217 and has been lowered by “sharp” action.

In fact, more money is on the Under, but more bets have been placed on the Over. This indicates the professionals are forecasting a lower-scoring affair, while the public is gambling Pelicans-Clippers goes Over. Obviously, it’s preferable to follow the money in this case.

I’m hesitant because we are getting the worst of the number and both teams went Under the total in their prior play-in games, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this game ping pongs Over the total.

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