Friday night’s meeting between the Pelicans and Warriors will be missing its superstar power, with no Zion Williamson or Steph Curry. Find out how that impacts the NBA betting landscape here with our picks.
A pair of short-handed squads flirting with .500 records face off at Chase Center on Friday night. with the Golden State Warriors hosting the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Pels will be playing without big men Zion Williamson and Jonas Valanciunas while the Dubs are missing All-Stars Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins.
NBA betting odds hit the board with Golden State as a 4.5-point home favorite with the Over/Under at 230.5. Here are my best free Pelicans vs. Warriors NBA picks and predictions for March 3.
Pelicans vs Warriors best odds
Pelicans vs Warriors picks and predictions
Although Zion impacts both ends of the court the Pels play at a slower pace and score at a significantly lower rate when he sits out. In 29 games with Williamson, the Pelicans average 117.5 points per game but in 34 contests without their high-scoring forward, that number drops to 111.8 ppg.
With Valanciunas doubtful for tonight, they should be even worse on offense. Valanciunas averages 14.2 ppg with a 54.2 FG% and will be replaced by Willy Hernangomez and Jaxson Hayes, who are complete non-factors on offense.
The Warriors have a similar dropoff on offense without Curry, who leads the team with 29.4 ppg. In 38 games with the All-NBA point guard, the Warriors have scored 120.0 ppg but that number falls to 115.8 ppg when he sits out. They’ll also be missing Wiggins (17.1 ppg) for the seventh straight game.
While the Warriors’ offense has taken a step back, they’ve been playing much better on defense lately. They haven’t allowed more than 105 points in any of their last four games and are limiting foes to just 100.3 ppg on 40.1 FG% over that span.
The Pels might not get much credit for it but they’ve been solid on defense all season and are ninth in the NBA in defensive rating. They rank first in the league in opponent 3-point percentage (33.8%) which should be very helpful against a Warriors team that attempts a league-high 43.1 attempts per game from long range.
My best bet: Under 231 (-110 at FanDuel)
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Pelicans vs Warriors spread analysis
The Warriors are fifth in the Western Conference with a 33-30 record but only two games separate them from the 10th-place Pelicans.
The Pels are coming off a 121-110 win in Portland on Wednesday night, where they were powered by a 40-point performance from Brandon Ingram. That victory snapped a four-game streak where they went 0-4 SU and ATS.
The Warriors are 4-0 SU and ATS in their last four contests and are coming off a 115-91 win against the Clippers last night. They held the Clips to 9-43 shooting from long range and now get to face a New Orleans side that has shot just 25.6% from deep over the last three games.
The Warriors might be on the tail-end of a back-to-back but at least they get to play at home, where they’ve gone 26-7 with an average scoring margin of plus-7.8 ppg.
The Pelicans have struggled away from home this season, going just 11-21 SU. They’ve been worse on both ends of the floor without Zion, and injuries to Valanciunas and Larry Nance Jr. make them particularly thin in the frontcourt.
Ingram (23.5 ppg on 47/40/88 shooting splits) and CJ McCollum (21.0 ppg and a team-high 5.9 apg) will carry New Orleans’ offense.
With Curry and Wiggins out of action, Golden State’s offense will be anchored by Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole. Thompson averages 22.0 ppg while shooting 40.8% from deep while Poole averages 21.0 ppg and has seen that number surge to 26.4 ppg when Curry doesn’t suit up.
Pelicans vs Warriors Over/Under analysis
I’ve already outlined why the Under is my favorite play of the day and if you’re not convinced I can’t blame you. After all, the Warriors play at the fastest pace in the league and are just 24th in scoring defense with 117.5 ppg allowed.
That said, they tend to take longer possessions without Curry, who has a tendency to pull the trigger early on in the shot clock. They’ve also played much better defensively at home where they allow a modest 111.9 ppg.
The betting trends also point heavily toward the Under, with the Warriors going below the total in five straight contests and the Pels going 1-5 O/U in their last six.
Pelicans vs Warriors betting trend to know
The Under is 9-2 in the last 11 meetings between these Western Conference foes. Find more NBA betting trends for Pelicans vs. Warriors.
Pelicans vs Warriors game info
|Location:||Chase Center, San Francisco, CA|
|Date:||Friday, March 3, 2023|
|Tip-off:||10:00 p.m. ET|
|TV:||Bally Sports New Orleans, NBC Sports Bay Area|