Pelicans vs Warriors Picks and Predictions: Golden Opportunity for Under Bettors

The Pelicans are gathering momentum, but they'll be tested for class on the tail-end of a back-to-back when they visit the Warriors tonight. Golden State's stingy home defense should drive Under bettors to a score, as our NBA betting picks indicate.

Last Updated: Mar 28, 2023 2:19 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Draymond Green Golden State Warriors NBA
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The New Orleans Pelicans head to the City by the Bay and bring a five-game winning streak with them when they visit the Golden State Warriors tonight.

New Orleans’ recent surge has sent them up the Western Conference standings, sitting eighth in the conference and only one game behind Golden State in sixth.

While NOLA is playing great two-way basketball during this stretch, the validity of those wins are up for debate. The Pelicans have bested some bad teams like Houston, San Antonio, Charlotte, and most recently Portland, blasting the Trail Blazers by 34 points last night.

Oddsmakers aren’t overly sold on New Orleans’ streak, pegging the Pels as 8.5-point underdogs inside the Chase Center against the best home bet in the NBA.

I dissect the spread and total for Tuesday’s tilt and give my best NBA picks and predictions for Pelicans vs Warriors on March 28.

Pelicans vs Warriors best odds

Pelicans vs Warriors picks and predictions

Tonight’s total was pulling sportsbooks in different directions. Some shops were on the high end, with the Over/Under as big as 235 points, while other books dealt a number as low as 233.5. We’re starting to see a market consensus in the middle of those numbers as we get into the afternoon.

It’s one of the taller totals New Orleans has faced in recent games, and reflects the Warriors’ offensive explosiveness as well as the Pelicans’ pick-up in points during this winning streak. However, I’m not sure the scoring will come as easy tonight as it has in that span.

NOLA has been gifted a soft schedule in those five games, taking on four teams ranked 20th or worse in defensive rating since the All-Star break. That stretch also featured “tanking” teams like San Antonio, Houston, and Charlotte, and a skeleton crew for a Portland team likely shutting down its superstars.

New Orleans’ pressure defense has led to easy offense in those outings as well, with many of those foes also sitting among the bottom third of the league in turnover rate. That’s translated into plenty of points off turnovers and extra possessions for a team that isn’t known for its scoring punch.

Golden State, which also has turnover troubles, gave up point totals of 114 and 128 to New Orleans in their two meetings in the Big Easy way back in November. But as we’ve come to know, the Dubs are a different team at home.

The Warriors rank No. 3 in home-court defensive rating and smother visitors for less than 45% success from the floor. Golden State edged New Orleans 108-99 at home on March 3, checking the Pels to 44% shooting for the game while holding them to only 42 total points in the second half. That result played well Under the closing total of 231 points.

These Western foes have finished below the total in all three of their previous meetings this year, with those outings owning a collective pace rating of 99.0 — a style more conducive to the Pelicans’ tempo, and not Golden State’s top-ranked pace rating of 102.55.

These offenses can come and go, as we saw with the Warriors in the loss to Minnesota on Sunday, but they’ll always bring their best on the defensive end. Well, at least the Dubs will if they’re playing at home.

My best bet: Under 235 (-110 at DraftKings)

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Pelicans vs Warriors spread analysis

With a convincing win over Portland last night, the Pelicans extended their winning streak to five games (5-0 ATS) and easily covered as 11.5-point road chalk against a very thin Blazers team.

Books then opened NOLA as big as a nine-point pup in Golden State, playing the second of back-to-back games on Tuesday. That spread has slimmed a bit to Warriors -8.5 with some injury concerns for the home side.

Golden State listed Draymond Green and Jordan Poole on the injury report for Tuesday, but both are expected to play against the Pelicans.

The Dubs are a different beast on their own floor, more specifically on defense. Golden State gives up only 111.4 points per game to visitors with a home defensive rating ranked third-best in the NBA — a stark contrast to their road results. That’s made the Warriors the best bet inside their own gym this season at 25-12-1 ATS.

However, that defense couldn’t save the team from a home loss to Minnesota last time out. Golden State fell 99-96 in what was an incredibly sloppy game for the defending NBA champs. The Warriors shot just 41% from the floor and coughed up the ball 16 times, including two terrible turnovers in the closing minute.

The Pelicans’ defense has feasted on free balls during their winning streak. New Orleans — which has ranked among the top defenses in the league for most of the season — is forcing 15.6 turnovers per game, and flipping those errors into 20.6 average points.

That’s fueled an offensive uptick for NOLA, which is scoring 121.2 points per night over those five outings, and has watched its offensive rating spike significantly. However, as mentioned above, New Orleans hasn’t faced the stiffest competition during this run.

The Pels and Dubs did battle earlier this month, with Golden State winning 108-99 at home as a five-point favorite. The Warriors, who were without Stephen Curry at the time, did turn the ball over 18 points (and average 15.7 turnovers at home) but only paid for nine points from those mistakes. New Orleans was missing Jonas Valanciunas and Josh Richardson in that contest.

Pelicans vs Warriors Over/Under analysis

Following the Pelicans’ one-sided win at Portland last night, bookies opened Tuesday’s total as high as 235 points. That’s dipped to 233.5 at some books, while others are still on the high side at 235 as of this afternoon.

New Orleans has enjoyed a scoring surge during this win streak, but has faced defenses ranked 30th, 27th, 23rd and 20th since the All-Star break. The Pelicans' defense, on the other hand, is No. 1 in advanced rating since the break and has smothered recent opponents, allowing an average of less than 98 points in the past five games.

The Under has been a money-maker for total bettors in Pelicans games, with NOLA staying below the number in 12 of its 16 games since the All-Star break, which includes a 2-7 O/U count away from home in that span.

Golden State’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” home/away splits have benefitted Under bettors in the Bay Area as well, with the Warriors boasting a 14-22-2 O/U count (61% Unders) inside the Chase Center this season.

The March 3 contest closed with an Over/Under of 231, and the 108-99 final left plenty of head room for Under bettors. They played twice in NOLA back in November, staying Under totals of 227 and 226.5 points.

Pelicans vs Warriors betting trend to know

New Orleans is 23-10 to the Under when facing totals of 230 or higher this season. Find more NBA betting trends for Pelicans vs. Warriors.

Pelicans vs Warriors game info

Location: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Tip-off: 10:00 p.m. ET

Pelicans vs Warriors key injuries

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