The Denver Nuggets (21-8) welcome the New Orleans Pelicans (8-23) to Pepsi Center. The Nuggets will attempt to lengthen their seven-game winning streak. Denver is a 10-point favorite on the opening line, while the game’s Over/Under (O/U) opened at 220 points. Tip-off is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 25, 2019, and it can be seen on ESPN.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Denver Nuggets Odds Preview
The Pelicans beat the Portland Trail Blazers in their last outing, 102-94, despite being 6-point underdogs. With 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, Brandon Ingram had a good performance for New Orleans. The Pelicans held the Trail Blazers to an offensive rebounding percentage of 16.0 (below their season average of 22.2) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.429 (below their season average of 0.520). The two teams combined to put up 196 points, which was well under the O/U total of 230.
In the Nuggets’ previous matchup, they snuck past the Phoenix Suns, 113-111, but they failed to cover as 2.5-point favorites. Denver rallied around Nikola Jokic, who recorded his fifth triple-double of the year. He dominated, racking up 22 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Denver’s effective field goal percentage was their biggest advantage over Phoenix. The Nuggets had a rate of 0.647 (above their season average of 0.514), while the Suns posted a mark of 0.557. The two teams collectively scored 224 points, which finished over the projected point total of 219.
These two teams have already met once this season. The two teams combined for 229 points in that game, which was over the projected point total of 223. The Pelicans won 122-107, covering as 4-point underdogs. Getting to the charity stripe was one of New Orleans’ biggest strengths. They had 32 free throw attempts, while Denver had just 16. Jahlil Okafor was the game’s top overall scorer with 26 points.
Of New Orleans’ 31 games, 17 have finished under the projected point total, while 19 of Denver’s 29 games have finished under the projected point total. Looking at straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records, the Nuggets have a substantial advantage. They are 21-8 SU and 11-14-4 ATS, while the Pelicans are 8-23 SU and 10-19-2 ATS.
Denver should have the advantage on the defensive side of the ball. The Nuggets currently rank fifth in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.498), while New Orleans is 19th in effective field goal percentage (0.521).
New Orleans Pelicans at Denver Nuggets Free Prediction
Prediction: SU Winner – Nuggets, ATS Winner – Nuggets, O/U – Under
The Pelicans rank fifth in fast break points per game (15.8) while the Nuggets rank 24th (11.8).
Denver averages 48.2 points in the paint per game, which ranks 11th in the NBA. New Orleans ranks 27th in points allowed in the paint per game (51.2).
Denver ranks eighth in rebounds allowed per game (43.9) while New Orleans ranks 25th (46.6).
On the road, New Orleans is 5-9-2 ATS with 8 overs and 8 unders.
Denver is 6-8-2 ATS at home with 11 unders and 5 overs.
In games where they hold opponents below 100 points, New Orleans is 2-0 and Denver is 10-1.
When reaching the century mark, the Nuggets are 19-4 and the Pelicans are 8-20.
The Nuggets rank fourth in assists per game (26.7) while the Pelicans rank 21st in assists allowed per game (24.8).
Denver ranks first in points off turnovers allowed per game (14.2) while New Orleans ranks 24th (18.9).
The Pelicans rank fifth in three pointers attempted per game (38.4) while the Nuggets rank 25th (30.2).
Denver ranks third in second chance points allowed per game (11.6) while New Orleans ranks 23rd (14.1).
Denver is 1-3-1 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under in its last five games.
Across its last five games, New Orleans is 2-3 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over.
The Nuggets’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 10.0, up from 5.7 for the season.
During their last five games, the Pelicans have scored an average of 106.2 points per game (5.3 below their season average) and allowed an average of 107.4 points per game (10.3 below their season average).