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Tuesday NBA Expert Picks, Predictions, Odds

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Tuesday night’s NBA schedule includes a slate of five NBA games, including a nationally televised schedule on TNT.

The first of those two games — Lakers vs. Knicks, 7:30 p.m. ET — will mark LeBron James’ first game at Madison Square Garden (assuming he plays tonight) in three years as he continues his pursuit of Kareem Abdul -Jabbar for the NBA All-Time Record.

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Game 2 — Pelicans vs. Nuggets at 10 p.m. ET — is Nikola Jokic’s first game at home after losing back-to-back road games to two Eastern Conference contenders.

Our betting analysts are everywhere at the end of the game with a choice on the spread, the total and a bet on the player. You can find their best bets for the Pelicans vs. the Nuggets below.

NBA odds and picks

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Denver Nuggets

Nuggets -6.5
10 p.m. ET
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Matt Moore: There are plenty of betting analyzes that focus on when to fade. If a team has played badly, it is a low point. But you need to see the team stabilize towards a better “correct” number before that happens.

Not so for the Pelicans without Zion Williamson. The Pels have lost eight in a row and 13 of the last 16, and haven’t covered in 12 of the last 16.

Don’t try to catch a falling knife.

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Denver at home has been dynamite this season and Denver is 3-2 ATS in late start games since reversing their season following the Dec. 6 loss to the Mavericks at home.

Plus, Denver is coming off a two-game losing streak. The Nuggets are 53% ATS on a loss with Nikola Jokic in the roster and 8-5 ATS on a losing streak.

I’ll throw the points with the Nuggets; things are not looking up for the Pelicans. Not yet.

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New Orleans Pelicans vs. Denver Nuggets

Less than 232

Andrew O’Connor-Watts: These teams have already faced each other twice this season and both games have gone under. In their last meeting, neither team scored 100 points.

I don’t expect this game to be that low, but I think the current total is too high. The Pelicans offense has been stagnant lately.

In their last five games, they have an offensive rating of 103.2, according to NBA Advanced Stats — last in the league.

On the other side, the Nuggets have shown improved defensive abilities over the past month. At the start of January, the Nuggets ranked 25th in the adjusted defensive rating (115.2), according to Dunks and Threes — a stat that factors the opponent’s offensive rating into its calculation.

Denver currently sits in 17th place (114.1). Meanwhile, the Pelicans have consistently been a strong defensive team all season ranked sixth (112.2).

One cause for concern may be Denver’s historic offense. The Nuggets have an adjusted offensive rating of 117.4 — tied with the Celtics for second place in the league — and trail only the Kings this season and the 2020-21 Nets as the best offense in league history. .

But in a historic offensive year, that’s already factored into the current number and Denver is playing at a slow enough pace that I’m not worried.

They only rank 21st in pace (98.6) and 22nd in length of offensive possession (14.8). The sub has already gained momentum, so shop around for the best figure up to 230.5.

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New Orleans Pelicans vs. Denver Nuggets

CJ McCollum Over 22.5 points

Kenny Ducey: Since Zion Williamson was injured earlier this month, it’s been CJ McCollum’s show in New Orleans. In 12 games without the star, he averaged 24.8 points per game and conceded that eight of 12 times, including the last two games.

With Williamson off the ground this season, McCollum saw his usage rate increase by 3.3% and scored 2.7 more points per 36 minutes.

Now he faces a defense that is giving opposing point guards 26.6 points per game, which is the second-worst mark in the league.

McCollum went 0 for 8 of three against the Nuggets last week and turned the ball over six times, but still missed that three total.

He should fare better this time around given what we’ve laid out above, and it’s also worth noting that Jamal Murray made a surprise appearance on the injury report and could miss this one. That would make me all the more confident that McCollum would score 23 or more goals.

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