New Orleans Pelicans vs. Philadelphia 76ers – NBA, May 7, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| May 7, 2021 6:47 am PDT

The Pelicans travel to Philadelphia to battle the 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center this evening.

New Orleans is caught up in a three-way fight for the final playoff berth in the west, and it’s a battle they are currently losing.

The Spurs occupy the final pre-playoff spot, and the Kings will feel they still have a say in the matter, so every game is vital for the Pelicans right now.

The 76ers are involved in their own three-way tussle, but it’s one they are currently winning as they look to fend off the Nets and the Bucks in the race for the Eastern Conference.

This is a fixture that predominantly favors the home team on the day as they have won five of the previous six games between these two.

The Pelicans beat the 76ers when they met last month, which ended a run of four straight defeats to them. It has to be said; it was a poor one with both teams underperforming on the night.

However, the 76ers will be hopeful of gaining revenge tonight as they have won five of the previous six games played in Philadelphia between them.

Here is my Pelicans vs. 76ers betting preview.

Pelicans vs. 76ers Odds

Pelicans +8.5-110
76ers -8.5-110
Pelicans To Win+300
76ers To Win-370
Over 228.5 Points-110
Under 228.5 Points-110

My initial thoughts are the spread looks a good three points on the high side here. The points total also looks to be big, and therefore we have a couple of betting opportunities in this one.

The 76ers have won four out of five games on average that they have entered as the betting favorite.

Pelicans Preview

The Pelicans head into this one in decent form, having won three of their previous four matches. However, the form may not be as good as it sounds when you see the caliber of opposition they have beaten during that run.

They picked up wins against the Thunder, Timberwolves, and Warriors while also dropping a game to the Warriors.

They have been lacking on the road this season, winning only 12 of their 31 away fixtures. Although they have won three of their last four road trips, they only beat the Magic, Thunder, and Timberwolves, so it’s hardly anything to write home about.

When they did come up against good opposition in the form of the Nuggets, they fell short. The Pelicans played well, but they started too slowly, trailing by ten points after the first quarter, leaving them too much to do late on.

Here are the latest betting trends for New Orleans:

Against The Spread

  • They have won five of their last six games.
  • The Pelicans have only lost one of their previous five matches against the 76ers.
  • On the road, they have only lost one of their last five road trips.
  • New Orleans has lost four of their previous five matches against teams in the Atlantic Division.

Points Total

  • Six of their last seven games have gone under the betting total.
  • Only one of their previous six matches against Eastern Conference opponents has failed to go over the points total.

Other Pointers

  • They have won four of their last six games.

The Pelicans have an excellent offense this season, and if they can tweak one or two things, they could have a top-five ranked attack.

A straightforward way of doing this would be to improve their poor free-throw shooting, which is only better than one other team in the NBA this season.

And of course, let’s not forget there is plenty to like about their attack. For starters, they have the best offensive rebounding unit in the league.

Their issue is in defense, where they need a lot of work, especially if they want to make the playoffs this season. They could start by making more blocks per game as they currently have one of the lowest counts in the league.

However, there are one or two positives also to build upon. Again, their rebounding has been good in defense, and therefore, their rebounding is a clear area of strength for them. They are also well disciplined and try to let their basketball do the talking for them.

The Pelicans have an excellent young team, and it seems they are keen to keep them together as they begin to tie them into new, long-term contracts.

The future looks promising for New Orleans, and if they can add one or two experienced players, they could become a force to be reckoned with.

New Orleans has quite a few players who have injuries or knocks at present, and they will miss Ingram and Hart tonight. Adams is listed as doubtful and Alexander-Walker as questionable to feature.

However, they are hopeful that star player Williamson will playdates he picked up a hand injury last time out.

76ers Preview

The 76ers have put their four-game skid well and truly behind them after picking up victories in their last six matches.

They have the best home record in the Eastern Conference, winning 25 of their 32 games. This includes winning their previous three in a row, all by large margins of 31, 44, and 22!

Here are the latest betting trends for Philadelphia:

Against The Spread

  • They have only lost one of their previous six matches.
  • The 76ers have won four of their last five games played in May.

Points Total

  • The total has gone under in 13 of their previous 20 matches.
  • Eight of their last 12 games against New Orleans have gone under the betting total.
  • Only three of their last ten matches against teams from the west coast have failed to go under the points total.
  • Five of their last six games played on a Friday have gone under the betting total.

Other Pointers

  • Philadelphia is 15-5 in their previous 20 matches a.

The 76ers have a good, well-rounded offense this season. They have been particularly good at home, averaging four more points per game, and therefore it’s easy to see why they have been so successful in Philadelphia.

Their defense is superb, and they have reduced their opponents to an average field goal percentage of only 45%. However, they have been known to leave themselves open at times against teams that shoot from deep.

They make many steals per game, so the Pelicans will have to use the ball well. The 76ers have also made the second-highest number of blocks in the NBA this season.

It’s easy to see why they have done so well this year when you see they have the likes of Joel Embiid in their ranks. He is many people’s favorite to be voted the MVP this season, and it appears he has another big man’s backing in the form of Shaq!

The 76ers have a healthy line-up going into this one, and Korkmaz is the only player listed as questionable as he battles back from an ankle injury.

Pelicans vs. 76ers Prediction and Pick

Pick
  • Pelicans +8.5
    -110

The Pelicans are a team that excites me and, on their day, they can give any team a run for their money. However, as with most young teams, they have been inconsistent this season. They also don’t possess the best depth in their roster, which has hurt them in this long, growling season. There is no doubt the 76ers are a fantastic team, but I don’t feel I’m looking at a team sitting top of the Eastern Conference when I look at their stats.

I will take the Pelicans with this large lead to come out on top tonight.

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