Pelicans vs. Spurs Prediction: Slumping Pels Meet Wemby and Co.

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published February 2, 2024
5 min read
Pelican vs Spurs Prediction

The New Orleans Pelicans (27-21) have been one of the best teams in the Western Conference, yet they’ll still be trying to escape the clutches of the seventh seed when they meet the San Antonio Spurs (10-38) in Texas on Friday.

Pelicans vs. Spurs Betting Odds for Friday, Feb. 2

The Pelicans are favored by 8.5 points on the road despite only winning one of their last four games away from home (13-11 overall). The Spurs are 5-19 at home but won two of the last four games in their building.

New Orleans Pelicans-8.5 (-105)-350Over 234.5 (-110)
San Antonio Spurs+8.5 (-115)+260Under 234.5 (-110)

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The Pelicans are the embodiment of modern basketball. They have several offensive playmakers and a variety of versatile defenders who, together, form a team that is at least serviceable on every area of the court and has tremendous upside.

New Orleans finished inside the top 12 in net rating (and both offensive and defensive rating), rebound rate, assist-to-turnover ratio, three-point percentage, and several other metrics in January. The team also ranks well in nearly every category for the year as a whole. 

The Pels are very disruptive. They’re ninth in deflections and 13th in shot contests per game which helped them allow the seventh-worst field goal percentage (46.3%) per game. Players such as Jose Alvarado, Dyson Daniels, and Herb Jones are all outstanding on-ball defenders and also have a knack for playing the passing lanes.

On the other side, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, and C.J. McCollum are some of the best three-man offensive trios in basketball. Any one of them can carry the scoring burden on any given night, and they all tend to operate in different spots on the court, ensuring they don’t create congestion for one another.

The Pelicans’ recent improvement on the glass makes them a truly terrifying opponent. They previously struggled to end opponents’ possessions in one shot at different times, but they have been rock-solid in that area recently.

All that said, New Orleans is just 2-4 over its last six games. The offense took a step back (aside from a 253-124 blowout win over the Utah Jazz) and they struggled to bring their usual defensive intensity into matchups.

Luckily for them, they have the seventh-best scoring differential per 100 possessions (+3) on the road and won’t be facing an impossible task trying to refind their footing away from home.

The Spurs might not yet be winning many games, but they’re getting better. They finished January 17th in net rating, which is much better than expected for a team that’s just 10-38. 

The major inspiration for their midseason turnaround is, unsurprisingly, Victor Wembanyama. The 7-foot-4 sensation put up 24.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 3.3 blocks on 50.6% shooting in just 26.7 minutes per night to start the New Year. It’s also worth noting that he played 30+ minutes in three straight games for the first time since December 17.

San Antonio’s improvement comes in spite of their poor spacing and near-absent three-point shooting. They make the second-worst percentage of triples (34.5%) and still have not found a reliable running mate for Wemby, though 23-year-old Devin Vassell scored 24+ points in three straight games.

Aside from the basic offensive and defensive X’s and O’s, there are two major keys for San Antonio. The first is limiting their turnovers (22nd in TO percentage) against an active Pelicans defense, and the second is supporting Wemby on the boards so he doesn’t have to single-handedly stave off the Pels’ wings and bigs.

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Pelicans vs. Spurs Prediction and Betting Pick

The Spurs, despite their record, went 11-5 against the spread in their last 16 games. The Pels are an even 5-5 over their last 10 but covered in 57.5% of games overall.

New Orleans is clearly the better team even if it hasn’t been playing its best basketball recently—at the same time, the Spurs tend to play better at home.

Zion Williamson and Herb Jones are both questionable for New Orleans while Zach Collins and Keldon Johnson are also uncertain for San Antonio, so we advise waiting to see the final injury report before placing any bets to see if there’s any line movement. 

All in all, we like the Spurs to cover. They should be able to keep the game respectably close as long as they don’t beat themselves.

How to Watch Pelicans vs. Spurs

  • When: Friday, Feb. 2 @ 7:00/8:00 p.m. CT/ET

  • Where: Frost Bank Center, San Antonio, TX

  • TV: NBA League Pass

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Grant Mitchell

Sports Betting Analyst & On-Air Host

Online Sports Betting
Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field. In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor in Sports Media and Analytics
Favourite Sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: FanDuel Casino
4 years
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