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Rockets vs Pelicans Pick – NBA Predictions & Odds 3/19/23

New Orleans Pelicans (33-37) vs. Houston Rockets (18-52)
March 19, 2023 7:00 pm EDT
The Line: Houston Rockets +5.5; Over/Under: +229
(Get latest betting odds)

The New Orleans Pelicans and the Houston Rockets collide once again at the Toyota Center on Sunday night.

The New Orleans Pelicans have been in a funk as they’ve lost nine of their last 12 games overall and they will be hoping to snap a two-game skid after falling painfully short to the lowly Rockets in a 114-112 road loss on Friday. Brandon Ingram led the team with 31 points and six assists on nine of 20 shooting, Jonas Valanciunas added 22 points with 17 rebounds and four blocks while CJ McCollum added 14 points with six assists. As a team, the Pelicans shot 47 percent from the field and 12 of 28 from the 3-point line as they held the Rockets to just 18 points in the second quarter to build a 16-point lead, but they couldn’t hold off the Rockets and eventually got burned at the buzzer as the Rockets’ Jabari Smith Jr drained the game-winning 3-pointer.

Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets have been playing some of their best basketball of the season as they’ve won five of their last eight games overall and they will be eager to build on their three-game win streak after outlasting the Pelicans in a thriller on Friday. Jalen Green led the team with 25 points, seven rebounds and six assists, Kevin Porter Jr. added 20 points with six assists while Alperen Sengun chipped in with 17 points, 11 rebounds and two steals. As a team, the Rockets shot 48 percent from the field and 11 of 32 from the 3-point line as they struggled to find their offense early on and fell behind by 16 points, before they rallied with 34 points in the fourth quarter to steal the game in the final second thanks to a clutch shot from Porter Jr.

Looking at the betting trends, the Pelicans are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 road games, 2-6 ATS in their last eight games against a team with a losing record and 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games overall. The Rockets are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four home games, 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games against a team with a losing record and 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games overall.

Head to head, the under is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings overall, the Pelicans are 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings in Houston and the Pelicans are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings overall.

The Pelicans are shorthanded once again as Jose Alvarado and Zion Williamson are both still out, while the Rockets don’t have a single player listed on the injury report. The Pelicans are mired in their worst slump of the season, and they will be kicking themselves after falling to the lowly Rockets on Friday, but you have to give credit to the Rockets who are currently playing some of their best basketball of the season. It’s always tough to beat the same team twice in a row, but the Rockets are the team in better form at the moment and I think they can get a similar result in this one.

Peter Tran's Free Pick: Houston +5.5

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Peter Tran

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