Toronto Raptors vs New Orleans Pelicans NBA Picks, Odds, Predictions 12/23/20

Toronto Raptors vs New Orleans Pelicans NBA Picks, Odds, Predictions 12/23/20 Photo by Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Pelicans (0-0) at Toronto Raptors (0-0)

NBA Basketball: Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 7:30 pm (Amalie Arena)

The Line: Toronto Raptors -4.5 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds

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The New Orleans Pelicans and Toronto Raptors meet Wednesday in NBA action at the Amalie Arena.

The New Orleans Pelicans are coming off a 2-6 bubble trip where they blew a chance at a playoff berth. The Pelicans now begin the Stan Van Gundy era, a coach who has 523 career wins on his resume. The Pels have to be thrilled about having a full, healthy season of Zion Williamson, and they flipped Jrue Holiday for the depth of Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams. Brandon Ingram continues to improve his game and is developing into an all-star talent, while Lonzo Ball has a chance to finally find a comfortable role. Throw in the shooting and experience of JJ Redick, and the Pelicans are an intriguing team in the West that can make some noise. The Pelicans will be a team to watch closely this season. 

The Toronto Raptors are coming off a seven-game series loss to the Boston Celtics and hope to gear up for another playoff run. The Raptors locked up Fred VanVleet for the longterm, and they hope Pascal Siakam can bounce back from his struggles in the bubble. Aron Baynes is the starting center now for the Raptors after they lost Serge Ibaka. Kyle Lowry continues to drink from the fountain of youth and OG Anunoby is quickly becoming one of the young star forwards in this league. The Raptors are as well coached as any team in the league and have the pieces in place to compete for the East. However, it’s going to be interesting to see how they handle not being in Canada, as they call Tampa it’s home during this weird COVID-19 season.

Get the Experts BEST BETS For Today's Games

The Pelicans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Raptors are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The under is 8-2 in Pelicans last 10 overall. The under is 6-1 in Raptors last 7 overall. The Pelicans are 5-15-1 ATS in the last 21 meetings.

The Toronto Raptors have been one of the better covering teams over the last few years and they're still a very talented club. However, the New Orleans Pelicans are a team I'm rather high on this year and will be looking to back a lot in the underdog role this season. The Pelicans should seriously push for a playoff spot in the West and that means they're going to win a lot of games, winning outright in the underdog role. Give me the Pels and the points.

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Randy’s Pick New Orleans Pelicans +4.5

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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