Free Picks: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors

Pelicans vs Raptors NBA
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors, NBA, Smoothie King Center

The Toronto Raptors visit New Orleans for another go at the New Orleans Pelicans after losing to Zion Williamson and company 113-99 in the season opener when these two teams met. The Raptors just picked up their first win of the season last time out after dropping their first three games of the campaign whereas the Pelicans have been alternating wins and losses since that opening night win against the Raps, most recently picking up their third win of the season in Oklahoma City against the Thunder.

Pelicans And Raptors Drop It Low On Saturday Night (Season Betting Record: 8-5)

The Raptors have had a very rough start to this campaign, losing their first three games of the season for the first time in 15 years. Those struggles have not come without their drama, either. Toronto decided to bench top scorer and 2020 NBA All-Star Pascal Siakam for the Raptors’ first win of the season on Thursday in a 100-83 triumph over the Knicks as a “discipline thing for an internal matter,” as head coach Nick Nurse described it.

Toronto looked great without the guy who’s generally regarded as their best player, with Chris Boucher putting up nine points and nine rebounds, Norman Powell playing some of his best ball of the season with 17 and four, and Fred VanVleet scorching the floor with 25 points and seven dimes. Toronto’s defensive prowess was on display again as well, holding their second straight opponent to 100 points or less.

But that’s no surprise, Toronto’s identity is that of a team that puts a premium on defense, which has led to some great defensive stretches paired with frustratingly bad offense. The Raptors are allowing the fourth-fewest points per game (103.8) while also scoring the third-fewest (101.5). And believe it or not, they’re coming up against a very similar team in New Orleans, which is why we’re all over the Game Total Points Under Prop for this one, with the number currently sitting at 213.0 points (-112 odds, 22Bet) as of this writing.

The Pelicans, much like the Raptors, have struggled to score while finding success on the defensive end, scoring the fourth-fewest points per game so far this season (101.6) while giving up the second-fewest (99.2). Both the Raptors and the Pelicans have hit the under in eight of their last ten games, including the season opener between these two teams, the past two straight for Toronto, and all five of New Orleans’ contests this season.

Toronto seemed to find their offensive stroke against the Knicks last time out, but they still only put up 100, and the Pelicans are a much more quality team than New York, especially on the defensive end, where the Pels have allowed 100 or more points just twice this season. The under has hit six straight times for Toronto following a game in which they scored 100+ points and it’s also 4-0 in New Orleans’ last four games following a straight up double-digit win. Sure things are a fable in the realm of betting, but the under for this matchup is about as close as you’ll get to that white whale.

If you want a wager offering a little more value, the Raptors are offering just that with +106 odds on their moneyline. Toronto is much better than their 1-3 record would suggest, with guys like VanVleet, Powell, and floor general Kyle Lowry currently playing their best hoop over the past few weeks. Siakam will be back in the mix, but after sitting for a game, I’d expect him to be on his best behaviour as he tries to get out of the doghouse. Toronto has owned the Pelicans recently, having emerged victorious in eight of the past ten matchups, so take the Raptors at plus money here.

Stats

  • UNDER has hit in 4 straight Toronto games following a SU win
  • UNDER has hit in 6 of Toronto’s last seven games on 1 days rest
  • UNDER has hit in 4 straight New Orleans games following a SU win
  • UNDER has hit in 6 straight New Orleans home games

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Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve. Follow Alex on Twitter

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