Last Updated: 2018-08-20
The New Orleans Pelicans were terrific last year, although playing without DeMarcus Cousins for the most of the 2017-18 NBA season. They managed to finish sixth in the Western Conference and second in the Southwest Division with a 48-34 record (24-17 at home, 24-17 on the road), sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. The Warriors were too much for Alvin Gentry’s boys in the second round, beating the Pelicans in five games, but it was a great success for Anthony Davis and his teammates.
The Pelicans will have a difficult task to replicate those performances in this term, so let’s see what can the bettors expect from them in the 2018-19 NBA season, as the futures and season props are already available on BetDSI Sportsbook.
New Orleans Pelicans Futures Odds
Win Total Over/Under at 44.5: Over -105; Under -115
To Win the Southwest Division at +875
To Win the Western Conference at +6000
To Win the NBA Championship at +9500
To Make NBA Playoffs: YES -200, NO +150 (Bet365 Sportsbook)
New Orleans Pelicans Player Movement
Draft: Tony Carr (No. 51 Pick)
Added: Julius Randle (free agency, Los Angeles Lakers), Elfrid Payton (free agency, Phoenix Suns), Jahlil Okafor (free agency, Brooklyn Nets)
Lost: DeMarcus Cousins (signed with Golden State Warriors), Rajon Rondo (signed with Los Angeles Lakers)
Unrestricted Free Agent: Jordan Crawford, Charles Cooke
After just one year in the Pelicans uniform, DeMarcus Cousins decided to leave New Orleans and join the Golden State Warriors as a free agent. The four-time All-Star played just 48 games last season before undergoing an Achilles tendon surgery, averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game while shooting 47.0% from the field and 35.4% from downtown. The Pelicans also lost the experienced point guard Rajon Rondo who decided to join LeBron James in Los Angeles after playing an important part in the Pelicans’ success last year, averaging 8.3 points and 8.2 assists per game.
On the other side, the New Orleans Pelicans brought Julius Randle to replace Cousins, and the former member of the LA Lakers should be a solid addition. He played four years with the Lakers, and the previous season was his best so far with 16.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, while he appeared in all 82 games of the regular season. The Pelicans also signed Elfrid Payton to replace Rondo, and the 10th overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft had a turbulent 2017-18 season. He started the season in Orlando but was traded to Phoenix Suns where he averaged 11.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 6.2 assists in 29.0 minutes per game.
New Orleans Pelicans 2018-19 Roster
The 25-year old Anthony Davis had a wonderful 2017-18 season, leading his teammates all the way to the Western Conference Semi-Finals, and proving that he’s finally ready for the greatest achievements as a true leader on the floor. In 75 games during the regular season, Davis was averaging 28.1 points and 11.1 rebounds on 53.4% shooting from the field and 34.0% from beyond the arc. In nine playoff games, he was even better, recording 30.1 points and 13.4 rebounds per game on 52.0% shooting from the field. He literally destroyed the Trail Blazers in the first round, scoring 47 points in the fourth game, but the five-time All-Star wasn’t enough for the Pelicans to reach the conference finals. The Brow is a fantastic two-way player, and if he stays healthy, the Pelicans will be searching for the playoff berth once again.
Jrue Holiday will be the Pelicans’ second scoring option, and the previous season was something really special for the 28-year old combo guard. Holiday set his career high in points (19.0) and field goal percentage (49.4%), starting in 81 games during the regular season. He also improved his numbers in the playoffs, averaging 23.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game on 51.8% shooting from the field. Jrue will be under a huge pressure this year to replicate those excellent displays, and the Pelicans’ fans hope he could be even better in this term.
Nikola Mirotic arrived from Chicago last year to play an important role for the Pelicans in the second half of the season when they lost DeMarcus Cousins. The 27-year old Spanish international was mostly coming off the bench to record 14.6 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 52.4% for two and 33.5% for three. The 23rd overall pick from the 2011 NBA Draft is a great stretch four who plays very well alongside Anthony Davis, and he should continue to contribute this season as a sixth-man.
E’Twaun Moore was another important player for the Pelicans in the previous season, playing in all 82 games of the regular season, just two times off the bench. Moore is a great danger from beyond the arc, and his presence on the floor alongside Anthony Davis is essential for the Pelicans. Last year, E’Twaun averaged 12.5 points (career high) on 50.8% shooting from the field and an impressive 42.5% from beyond the arc. Darius Miller will be E’Twaun’s backup after having a nice 2017-18 season, averaging 7.8 points on 44.4% shooting from the field and 41.1% from beyond the arc.
Players Under Contract:
Elfrid Payton (PG), Ian Clark (PG), Frank Jackson (PG)
Jrue Holiday (PG-SG), DeAndre Liggins (SG), Trevon Bluiett (SG)
E’Twaun Moore (SF), Darius Miller (SF), Solomon Hill (SF)
Nikola Mirotic (PF), Julius Randle (PF), Cheick Diallo (PF)
Anthony Davis (C), Jahlil Okafor (C), Emeka Okafor (C), Alexis Ajinca (C)
Total Win Prediction and Betting Picks
Although the Pelicans possess one of the most dominant players in the league, and arguably the best center Anthony Davis, I think they could struggle to reach the playoffs in this term. The Lakers with LeBron will be a strong contender, while the Nuggets are also in the playoff picture, so I believe the Pelicans will battle for the eighth spot in the Western Conference, and the odds at +150 to fail this year sounds quite intriguing.
If they manage to win more than 45 games, the Pelicans should finish in the top half, but it is too close to call and make a wager here. Anthony Davis health will be a key factor in the Pelicans’ eventual success, as he has to stay fit if they want to win at least 46 games this season.
The Pelicans are at +875 to win the Southwest Division, according to Bet365 Sportsbook, and I think they cannot make it in the competition with the Houston Rockets. Winning the Western Conference is an impossible mission, but with Anthony Davis in the lineup, the Pelicans will be a tough opponent for any side in the league.
The Pick: Under 44.5 (-105)
Prediction: 9th in the Western Conference
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