The Golden State Warriors are oh so close to the return of Klay Thompson but they will be without both splash brothers when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans tonight.
Steph Curry injured his quad in last night’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks and will sit out tonight. That said, the depth of the Dubs means they are still 2.5-point road favorites. Do the Pels have value as a home NBA betting underdog?
Find out in our free NBA picks and predictions for Warriors vs. Pelicans on January 6.
Warriors vs Pelicans odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
This line hit the board with the Warriors as 2.5-point road favorites with Curry out, after the number closed at 9.5 when the two met in San Francisco back in November. The total hit the board at 215.5 and the Under has been hammered, lowering the number to 212.
Warriors vs Pelicans predictions
- Prediction: Pelicans +2.5 (-110)
- Prediction: Under 212 (-110)
- Best bet: Jonas Valanciunas Over 28.5 Points + Rebounds (-125)
Predictions made on 1/6/2022 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Warriors vs Pelicans game info
• Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
• Date: Thursday, January 6, 2022
• Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET
• TV: BSNO, NBCSBA
Warriors vs Pelicans betting preview
Warriors: Steph Curry PG (Out), Otto Porter Jr. SF (Questionable), Andre Iguodala SG (Questionable), Klay Thompson SG (Out), James Wiseman C (Out).
Pelicans: Zion Williamson PF (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Under is is 7-1 in the Warriors' last eight games when facing a team with a losing record. Find more NBA betting trends for Warriors vs. Pelicans.
Warriors vs Pelicans picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
Maybe a little break is exactly what Steph Curry needs before all the hullabaloo that will come along with Klay Thompson’s return to the court, because he is in one of his worst shooting slumps in recent memory.
Curry is just 2-19 from 3-point range over his last two games, which includes going 1-9 in last night’s 99-82 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. So, maybe give the betting favorite to win the NBA MVP award a little break before the weekend.
So, can the Dubs still cover this spread without him? Well, the Warriors are 1-1 without Curry this season. Those games were a three-point win against the Detroit Pistons and a 17-point loss to the Toronto Raptors. On top of that, their average margin of victory on the road is 3.1 points per game.
This means the Pelicans might be catching them in a good spot here.
New Orleans has lost three in a row straight up and against the spread but to be fair, it was a tough week facing Milwaukee, Utah, and Phoenix. Prior to that, it had won five of six and it enters this game rested and relatively healthy.
The Pels' offense has been much more respectable since the middle of December, ranking 16th in offensive rating and 14th in scoring. Jonas Valanciunas and DeVonte‘ Graham have been playing well lately, and if Brandon Ingram can find his form again, the Pels could pose a problem here.
The Warriors will try to take advantage of the Pelicans' poor perimeter defense but a lot of what makes this offense work is predicated on Curry being on the floor. While they will try to rely on their excellent defense, no Curry and their second game in as many nights means were are backing the Pels as home dogs.
Prediction: Pelicans +2.5 (-110)
When it comes to the total, the early money has been all over the Under and it’s not hard to see why, particularly after the Warriors were only able to put up 82 points on the Mavericks last night with Curry.
In two games without Curry this season, the Warriors have averaged 102.5 points and haven’t put up more than 105 points in either of those games. One of those games was against the Detroit Pistons, who are about as soft as they come on the defensive end of the floor.
While the Pelicans have been playing better on offense, they certainly haven’t been world-beaters by any means, putting up 109.4 points over their last 10 games. And you know that without Curry, the Warriors will lean on a defense that ranks first in defensive rating, opponent scoring, and field goal percentage.
We’re following the money here even if we’ve lost the best number and taking the Under.
Prediction: Under 212 (-110)
While it’s been an up-and-down season for the Pelicans, with Zion Williamson yet to make an appearance, one bright spot for them has been center Jonas Valanciunas.
The Pels’ big man is averaging 18.9 points and 12 rebounds per game this season, and while the Warriors are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, Valanciunas was a problem when they last met, going for 20 points and hauling down 15 boards.
JV has also gone for more than 28 combined points and rebounds six times over his last nine games. Expect the Pelicans to use Valanciunas to lean on a tired and undersized Warriors team.
Pick: Jonas Valanciunas Over 28.5 points + rebounds (-125)
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