ESPN’s FPI gives New Orleans a 75.5% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Tuesday’s matchup between the Bucks and Pelicans.
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Bucks vs. Pelicans Game Details
Date: Tuesday, February 4
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Smoothie King Center (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Spread: Bucks -6.5
- SG Pat Connaughton (ankle) probable
- PG George Hill (hamstring) out
- PG Frank Mason III (abdomen) out
- SG Kenrich Williams (back) out
- Bucks are 42-7 SU and 27-22 ATS this season
- Pelicans are 20-30 SU and 25-23-2 ATS this season
- Over is 25-23-1 in Bucks games this season
- Over is 28-22 in Pelicans games this season
Zion Williamson will steal the headlines in this game, but the best value in terms of props lies in the New Orleans backcourt. Lonzo Ball is averaging 14.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 9.1 assists over his last 17 games, including three triple-doubles.
Ball just missed out on a triple-double against the Rockets on Sunday with 10 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. The third-year pro has meshed well with Zion and continues to stuff the stat sheet. Since Ball’s numbers have been so balanced amongst the varying offensive statistics, it’s best to cast a wide net with his prop to capture the most value.
PICK: Lonzo Ball Points, Rebounds and Assists Over 26.5
New Orleans is 3-3 straight up and against the spread since the debut of Zion Williamson. The Pelicans struggled in the second half against the Rockets falling 117-109 on Sunday in Houston despite 21 points and 10 rebounds for the rookie. The New Orleans defense was unable to contain James Harden, who snapped out of his shooting slump with a 40-point outburst and finished one assist shy of a triple-double. Williamson is averaging 19.5 points on 61.5 percent shooting since his return from a knee injury.
Both Zion and Giannis Antetokounmpo did not play in the first matchup between these two teams earlier this season, a 127-112 win for Milwaukee. Eric Bledsoe poured in 29 points for the Bucks, who shot 18-of-29 from the 3-point line in the game. Shooting percentages will be a key indicator of who wins this matchup on Tuesday. The Bucks lead the NBA in field goal defense (41.1%) and are second in field goal offense (48.4%). The Pelicans are ranked in the bottom half of both categories.
The Pels have looked much more explosive on offense with Zion back in the lineup, but the Bucks have played a step faster all season long and currently sport the best record in the NBA. I don’t expect Milwaukee to falter against a New Orleans team that has struggled with efficiency. Swallow the points on the road with Giannis.
PICK: Bucks -6.5
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith