Nuggets vs Pelicans Picks and Predictions for March 26

Updated: March 26, 2021

Michael Porter Jr. is making nearly 50 percent of his threes over the last 15 games and he is a good bet to exceed his total from downtown vs. the Pelicans.

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The Denver Nuggets made a nice pickup at the trade deadline, bringing in Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic, and hopefully the high-flying forward can give the Nuggets a bit of a boost as the team is just 3-5 ATS over their last eight games.

Gordon is unlikely to suit tonight, but the Nuggets are still 2.5-point chalk as they visit Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans. But who has the edge in NBA betting?

Check out our NBA free picks and predictions for Nuggets vs. Pelicans on Friday, March 26, with tipoff scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET.

Denver Nuggets at New Orleans Pelicans betting preview


Nuggets: Aaron Gordon PF (Out), Gary Clark SF (Out), Javale McGee C (Questionable), Greg Whittington SF (Questionable), Monte Morris PG (Out).
Pelicans: Lonzo Ball PG (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 5-1 in the Pelicans’ last six games versus a team with a winning straight-up record, and 5-1 in the last six meetings between the Nuggets and Pels. Find more NBA betting trends for Nuggets vs. Pelicans.

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The Nuggets hit the board as 2-point road favorites, with a total of 230. Early action has come in on the Nuggets and the Over. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Against the spread (ATS) pick

At 26-18, the Nuggets have climbed to fifth in the Western Conference, but haven’t been playing their best basketball of late, going 1-2 straight up in their last three games and 3-5 ATS in their last eight overall. That includes a 113-108 loss to this same Pelicans team as 6.5-point favorites on March 21. 

In that game, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram dominated the Nuggets on the inside, combining to go 20 of 36 for an even 30 points apiece. Gordon is exactly the type of player who could help with that situation, but unfortunately, he is unlikely to play in this one.

Luckily for the Nuggets, despite that loss and the not-up-to-par play, they still match up fairly well with the Pels. The Nuggets have a terrific offense, led by MVP-favorite Nikola Jokic. They rank fourth in scoring, sixth in effective field goal percentage and fifth in offensive rating, and are going up against a New Orleans defense that struggles to get stops.

The Pelicans rank 25th in opponent scoring, are second-to-last in opponent 3-point shooting, and only the Trail Blazers and Kings have a worse defensive rating this season. 

So, New Orleans has been carried by its offense, which ranks seventh in the NBA when it comes to offensive rating, putting up 115.6 points per game. But they are more old school, doing most of their work on the inside, and are not a great 3-point shooting team. So, if they get down, it’s hard for them to come back.

Considering their loss to the Pels from only a few days ago and the fact they are coming off an ugly and uncharacteristic loss to the Raptors last time out, and the Nuggets should be motivated to bounce back in this one. Lay the points.

PREDICTION: Nuggets -2.5 (-110)

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Over/Under pick

Take a quick look at this matchup and you’ll see two strong offenses and at least one questionable defense. So, even with a total of 231.5, you might be running to the betting window to take the Over — but not so fast. 

The Nuggets’ defense isn’t too shabby and is much better than the 135 points they allowed to the Raps the last time they played. They rank a middle-of-the-pack 17th when it comes to defensive rating and allow 111 points per game for the season, but prior to that game against the Raps, that number had lowered to 106.2 over the previous nine games, with the Under going 6-3 in that span.

While the Pels are a high-scoring team, as mentioned, they don’t shoot the three well. On top of that, neither team plays at an overly high pace. This number is high enough to side with the Under.

PREDICTION: Under 231.5 (-110)

Player Prop Pick

As noted, the Pelicans are one of the worst perimeter defending teams in the NBA, allowing opponents to shoot nearly 40 percent from 3-point range. That is exactly what Michael Porter Jr. can take advantage of. The Nuggets’ forward bounced back after a mini-slump and went 5 of 6 from deep against the Raptors. Over his last 15 games, Porter is shooting 49.4 percent from downtown, averaging 2.7 makes over that span. He’s a good bet to go over his made threes total in this one.

PREDICTION: Michael Porter Jr. Over 2.5 Made Threes (-110)

Nuggets vs Pelicans betting card

  • Nuggets -2.5 (-110)
  • Under 231.5 (-110)
  • Michael Porter Jr. Over 2.5 Made Threes (-110)

NBA parlays

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