Los Angeles Clippers vs New Orleans Pelicans NBA Playoffs Predictions and Odds: Play-In Tournament

The Los Angeles Clippers will look to bounce back and knock out the visiting New Orleans Pelicans in a win-or-go-home game at Crypto.com Arena. Both teams will look to clinch the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference for a chance to go against the league-leading Phoenix Suns. Who’ll prevail? Let’s find out!

Los Angeles Clippers vs New Orleans Pelicans Top Two Picks

Los Angeles Clippers -1 @-110 

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Under 215.5 @-110

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The Los Angeles Clippers (42-41 SU) and (41-41 ATS) have been one of the most surprising teams of the season. Despite still not even clinching a playoff berth, Tyronn Lue sure deserves plenty of credit for keeping this team in the playoff mix after losing Paul George and Kawhi Leonard for most of the season.

George is back with the team and ready to build from his 34-point, 7-rebound performance against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Clippers are just 5-5 against the spread in their past 10 games and have struggled to run an efficient offense lately.

On the other side of the hardwood, we find a New Orleans Pelicans team (37-47 SU) and (42-40-1 ATS) that’s coming off an inspiring home win over the San Antonio Spurs, also boasting a 5-5 ATS record in their final 10 games.

CJ McCollum had one of the best games of his career with 32 points 6 boards, 7 dimes, and 3 three-pointers against the Spurs and will now look to replicate that success against one of the league’s best defensive units.

Here are my picks and predictions for Friday’s NBA matchup between the Spurs and the Pelicans. (Odds via BetMGM)

Los Angeles Clippers vs New Orleans Pelicans Game Info

Date/Time: Friday, April 15, 2022, 10:00 p.m. ET
Location: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles

Clippers vs Pelicans prediction

Los Angeles Clippers vs New Orleans Pelicans Odd Analysis

As expected, the Clippers enter this game as  just a 1-point home favorite, with Moneyline odds of -105. As of now, 67% of the public is backing the home team to cover the spread, which isn’t a surprise considering they’re  25-16 ATS at home.

The game total, on the other hand, is set at ‘just’ 215 points, which seems way too low by today’s standards. Then again, neither of those teams is known for its offensive prowess, so it makes sense.

Los Angeles Clippers vs New Orleans Pelicans Picks

Now, this is why we’re all here. It’s time to submit our picks for this exciting win-or-go-home matchup. Also, for more expert picks on the NBA play-in tournament or the NBA playoffs, visit our special NBA picks page.

Clippers Get A Close Win At Home, Cover -1 Spread @-110 (Odds via BetMGM)

While Willie Green has done an outstanding job of keeping his team in playoff contention, Tyronn Lue has already proven that he’s a master at making adjustments, and the Clippers’ physical defense could be too much to handle for the Pelicans’ youngins.

Robert Covington’s defensive versatility will be key to matching up vs. both Jonas Valanciunas and Brandon Ingram, while Paul George could lockdown C.J. McCollum in the perimeter. Also, the Clippers have the second-best three-point shooting team (37.4%) in the league, while the Pelicans rank 27th in that regard.

If Zion Williamson were to play this game, then it could be a whole different story. But the Clippers won’t drop back-to-back games.

Clippers And Pelicans Play Hard Defense, Go Under The 215 Total @-110 (Odds via FanDuel)

Neither of these teams likes to push the pace. The Clippers run just 98.0 possessions per game (17th) while the Pelicans aren’t that far behind at 97.2 (21st). Also, they’re in the bottom-third in terms of field goal percentage (45.8% for the Clippers, 45.7% for the Pelicans), true shooting percentage (56.4% for Clippers, 55.7% for Pelicans), and Offensive Rating (110.1 Clippers, 112.0 Pelicans).

Both teams reached this stage thanks to their defense and four of their last five meetings have failed to go over the total by at least 5.5 points.

Our Bonus Player Prop pick: Paul George Over 40.5 Total Points, Rebounds, And Assists @-120 (Odds via DraftKings)

UPDATE: Paul George will miss the play-in versus the Pelicans due to health and safety protocols. The following bet is no longer available!!

Paul George is the leader of the Clippers and the best player on the court. He’ll be asked to do most of the heavy lifting after spending months on the shelf. He’s been money in the NBA playoffs since last season and easily topped this mark vs. the Timberwolves, so we like him to repeat here.