Few teams are, right now, trickier to bet on than the New Orleans Pelicans. To be sure, all NBA teams are fickle wagers. That's the nature of the Association's beast. But the Pelicans are really the kings of ambiguity right now. If you're going to make them a regular play in your betting arsenal, you'll need the lowdown on what's happening not only on the floor but off it.
Having Anthony Davis does put the Pelicans ahead of most rebuilding teams. He is already a megastar and can propel them to random playoff berths until they get another star. But, and this cannot be emphasized enough, the Pelicans need that second star. And until they get him, they are a game-by-game play only.
Steer clear of futures such as win totals or even lottery odds unless they land a few big fish in free agency. It's almost impossible to tell how they stack up against the rest of the West during the season, let alone before it even begins. You can make good money by studying their opponent and then weighing your findings against New Orleans' on-court uncertainty, but that's the extent of what the Pelicans can do for your sportsbook activity.
New Orleans Pelicans Next Game
Since the Pelicans are more of a game-by-game bet, you'll need to know their next opponent before you know anything else.
You can find that below and are then free to dig up any necessary information. Start with the team's record, move into their offensive and defensive statistics, then try to dredge up any injuries that could impact the product they're deploying against New Orleans.
New Orleans Pelicans Regular Season Schedule
Glancing at the Pelicans entire schedule is as close to an inside track as you will get with this team. Located below, this look ahead shows you which kind of teams they're up against:
good, great, bad or really bad. Rather than looking to figure out which way you'll bet with every game, you'll want to single out which matchups you should even gamble on. That's the cold, hard, useful truth with the Pelicans. Find the most attractive games, do your research in advance, see if it holds up for game day and then place your bets.
New Orleans Pelicans Standings
The Pelicans' place in the standings is twofold: It will help show you if they're in the playoff race at all. And if they're not, you're free to use them as a lottery baseline.
Do they have a high enough shot at landing the first overall pick for you to place a prop bet at your favorite sportsbook? Or are they firmly caught in the middle, meaning you should avoid most futures until they play their way into the upper or lower echelons of the West?
Keep an Eye on New Orleans' Offseason
Offseasons are important for every team. But the Pelicans are at a point where they have to pick a direction, and that's going to severely impact your betting schemes. Everything from win totals to playoff odds to championship chances will be determined based on how the Pelicans react to their most recent disappointing season.
There is one of two ways they can go right now. Either they'll start selling off key contributors and hit reset, in which case you'll know to stay away from conference and championship odds; or they'll decide to retool once more, in which case you'll still want to keep clear of conference and championship odds but give ample consideration to win totals.
The only way it becomes acceptable to lay down money on New Orleans' conference or championship chances is if the front office carves out enough cap space to sign top-tier free agents and then convinces them to join Davis. Even in that scenario, you'll likely want to give the Pelicans a year to see if the chemistry sticks. But betting on conference and championship futures at least becomes more reasonable should they drastically improve the roster.