The New Orleans Pelicans (39-30) will have their hands full against the league’s top shooting defense when they go head-to-head against the Boston Celtics (47-22) at Smoothie King Center. The game will air on Fox Sports – New Orleans at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 18, 2018.
Boston Celtics vs. New Orleans Pelicans Betting Prediction
In the Celtics’ last game, they beat the Orlando Magic, 92-83. The Celtics made 21 of their 28 free throws (75.0 percent) and had an offensive rebounding percentage of 32.7 (above their season average of 21.2). Al Horford had a good game for Boston, contributing 15 points and nine rebounds.
The Pelicans fell to the Houston Rockets in their last matchup, 107-101. Houston’s turnover percentage was their biggest advantage over New Orleans. The Rockets had a rate of 7.4 (better than their season average of 12.3), while the Pelicans posted a mark of 14.0. With 26 points on 11-for-18 shooting, Anthony Davis led New Orleans in scoring.
Looking at effective field goal percentage, this appears to be a balanced game. The sharp-shooting New Orleans offense ranks fourth in the league in that metric at 0.541, while the stingy Boston defense is ranked first in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.490).
Boston heads into the contest with records of 47-22 straight up (SU) and 41-25-3 against the spread (ATS). Of the Celtics’ 69 games, 35 have finished over the total.
Meanwhile, New Orleans owns records of 39-30 SU and 36-32 ATS. Of the Pelicans’ 68 games with betting action, 42 have finished over the total.
Terry Rozier has averaged 16.0 points and 4.0 assists over the last five games for Boston.
This will be the second game of the season between these two teams. Davis scored a game-high 45 points in the first game, in which the Pelicans beat the Celtics 116-113, covering as 5.5-point underdogs. He also recorded 16 rebounds. The game finished with a total of 229 points, which was 14.5 points above the projected point total of 214.5 points. The Pelicans made 19 of their 25 free throws (76.0 percent) and had a better turnover percentage (11.9 vs. 14.3).
Boston Celtics vs. New Orleans Pelicans ATS Pick
NBA Tip: SU Winner – Pelicans, ATS Winner – Pelicans, O/U – Over
On the road, Boston is 24-9 ATS with 16 overs, 16 unders and 1 push.
New Orleans is 13-19 ATS at home with 24 overs and 8 unders.
In games where they hold opponents below 100 points, New Orleans is 8-2 and Boston is 30-4.
In games where they score more than 100 points, the Pelicans are 37-19 and the Celtics are 35-10.
New Orleans ranks second in points in the paint per game (51.8) while Boston ranks 29th (39.2).
The Celtics rank fourth in fast break points allowed per game (10.1) while the Pelicans rank 28th (14.5).
Boston ranks eighth in second chance points allowed per game (11.4) while New Orleans ranks 29th (13.7).
The Celtics rank fifth in steals allowed per game (7.1) while the Pelicans rank 24th (8.2).
Boston ranks sixth in three pointers attempted per game (31.4) while New Orleans ranks 25th in three pointers allowed per game (30.6).
The Celtics rank eighth in rebounds per game (44.5) while the Pelicans rank 26th in rebounds allowed per game (45.5).
Boston ranks fourth in assists allowed per game (20.8) while New Orleans ranks 21st (24.1).
The Pelicans rank third in blocks per game (5.9) while the Celtics rank 16th (4.7).
New Orleans ranks 20th in points off turnovers per game (16.1) while Boston ranks 26th (14.9).
In their last five games, Boston is 4-1 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
New Orleans is 1-4 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs over their last five games.
The Celtics’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 6.0, up from 4.3 for the season.
During their last five games, the Pelicans have scored an average of 101.8 points per game (9.9 below their season average) and allowed an average of 110.4 points per game (1.0 below their season average).
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