- Denver is a 5.5-point favorite over New Orleans on Friday (Jan. 28) at 8 pm ET at the Smoothie King Center
- This game marks the first opportunity residents of Louisiana will have to bet one of their home state teams through legal betting apps
- Read below for odds, analysis and a betting prediction
Friday is a huge day in the state of Louisiana. Online sports betting officially goes live at 8am CT, giving residents in 56 of the state’s 64 parishes an opportunity to legally bet on sports.
The first opportunity to bet on a professional team from Louisiana also takes place on Friday, as the New Orleans Pelicans host the Denver Nuggets.
Nuggets vs Pelicans Odds
|Denver Nuggets||-222||-5.5 (-110)||O 215.5 (-110)|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+180||+5.5 (-110)||U 215.5 (-110)|
Odds as of Jan 27th at BetMGM.
The Pelicans opened up as a 5.5-point underdog, in a game that features a total of 215.5. Tip-off is scheduled for 8pm ET at the Smoothie King Center, and to celebrate Louisiana sports betting, there are a bevy of promos to take advantage of.
Denver Nuggets Betting Analysis
The Nuggets enter play winners of three straight, and eight of their last 13. They currently sit sixth in the Western Conference, and second in the Southwest division, 4.5 games behind Memphis.
BREAKING: Louisiana online sports betting will launch on Friday, Jan. 28, at 8 a.m.
— RLinnehanXL (@RLinnehanXl) January 26, 2022
Last time out, they took down Brooklyn 124-118 at the Barclay’s Center, although it should be noted the Nets were missing their entire Big 3. Even without James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving, the Nuggets had to scratch and claw their way to victory.
Nikola Jokic, a top-4 candidate in the 2022 NBA MVP odds, led the way with 26 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, while Austin Rivers splashed 25 points. Rivers was especially clutch in the second half, as 22 of his points came in the final 24 minutes.
Denver exceeded its season average in both field goal percentage and three-point efficiency, shooting 47.2% from the field, and 41.4% from beyond the arc.
— NBA (@NBA) January 27, 2022
The Nuggets aren’t considered a strong rebounding team, despite Jokic’s presence, but you’d never know it based on their latest performance. They outrebounded Brooklyn 48-38, and held a 12-6 advantage in the offensive rebound department.
The concern if you’re a Denver backer is at the defensive end. Even without all that star power, the Nuggets yielded 49% shooting from the field goal to the Nets, allowing them to connect on over 40% of their threes.
Mills, Mills, Mills pic.twitter.com/dn6eF5eVos
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 27, 2022
Denver checks in ranked 15th in defensive rating, but only six teams yield a higher field goal percentage to enemy shooters.
They’re a much better offensive team per the numbers, ranking fifth in field goal percentage, and third in two-point field goal percentage. Their high offensive efficiency and low defensive grade explains why the majority of their games tend to go over – more on that later.
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New Orleans Pelicans Betting Analysis
While the Nuggets are streaking, the Pelicans are going in the opposite direction. They’ve lost three of their last five, and eight of their past 13, including Tuesday versus Philadelphia. Playing all year without Zion Williamson, they’re a distant wager in the current NBA Playoff odds.
New Orleans fell 117-107 to the Sixers, but played the game extremely shorthanded.
The Pelicans were missing their top-four scorers, Brandon Ingram (ankle), Josh Hart (ankle), Devonte Graham (ankle), and Jonas Valanciunas (rest), but still found a way to stay competitive for the majority of the contest.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) January 26, 2022
Nickeil Alexander-Walker led the way with 31 points, while Willy Hernangomez poured in 29 points. New Orleans shot 48.2% from the field, and 40.9% from three, both of which are well above their season averages.
They dominated in the paint (62-52) and on the break (19-5), but couldn’t keep Philly off the offensive glass. The 76ers grabbed 14 offensive boards, which led to a plethora of second chance points, and that ultimately proved to be the difference.
Brandon Ingram (right ankle sprain) and Josh Hart (left ankle sprain) are questionable for tomorrow’s game vs Denver, per the Pelicans
— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) January 27, 2022
Ingram and Hart didn’t practice on Thursday and are listed questionable for Friday’s contest, while Graham and Valanciunas are expected to play.
Nuggets vs Pelicans Pick
The Pelicans rank bottom-seven in points per game, and bottom-six in shooting percentage. Despite their shaky offensive numbers, and below average defensive rating (22nd), they find a way to keep games close.
They’re 6-3 against the spread over their past nine outings, and 13-8-1 ATS at home this season.
Party with the Pels this weekend! 🏠 🎉
Friday vs Denver
Saturday vs Celtics pic.twitter.com/bqFO6WQ205
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) January 27, 2022
The Nuggets meanwhile, seem to play down to their competition. Despite piling up wins lately, they’re just 1-5 ATS in their last six games, and 3-7 against the spread over their past 10.
As mentioned earlier, overs have been the way to play Denver games. Seven of their past eight contests have soared over the total, with each of those games producing at least 215 points.
Picks: New Orleans Pelicans +5.5 (-110), Over 215.5 (-110)
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