NBA Tips & Preview – Pelicans @ Clippers

The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips for a showdown between play-in tournament-bound Western Conference rivals LA Clippers and New Orleans Pelicans. 

11:30 (AEST), Mon 4th Apr @ Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles

History: Played 67: Pelicans 37 V Clippers 30

Last meeting: January 13, 2022: Pelicans 113 d Clippers 89 at Smoothie King Arena

Final Thoughts: It’s a potential early preview of the Western Conference play-in tournament as the eighth-placed LA Clippers host the ninth-placed New Orleans Pelicans.

The Clippers are virtually locked into eighth, while the Pelicans have a three-game lead on the 11th-placed Lakers.

The 38-40 Clippers have won only four of their last 13 games. But last week Paul George returned from more than three months on the sidelines with 34 points in a 121-115 upset of the Jazz, before they went down in overtime to the Bulls despite Reggie Jackson’s 34 points. George and Jackson were rested two days ago as the Clippers routed a second-string Bucks line-up 153-119. Robert Covington went off for 43 points, while Amir Coffey (32 pts, 6 reb, 7 ast, 4 stl) stuffed the stats sheet.

George and Jackson are listed to play today. Kawhi Leonard and Norman Powell remain out.

The 34-43 Pelicans have won six of their last eight, including their last three against the Lakers at home (116-108) and away (114-111) either side of a road victory over the Trail Blazers (117-107). CJ McCollum (32 pts, 7 reb) and Brandon Ingram (29 pts, 8 reb, 7 ast) starred against the Lakers yesterday. Zion Williamson, who is yet to play this season, is the Pelicans’ only notable absentee.

The Pelicans have won their last five against the Clippers, including three convincing victories so far this season. The Pels prevailed 94-81 at home and 123-104 in LA in November, before carving out a 113-89 result in New Orleans in January. The Clippers have struggled to handle Pelicans big man Jonas Valanciunas, who averaged 27.7 points and 14.7 rebounds across the three clashes.

The Clippers are 23-16 at Crypto.com Arena this season (19-22 ATS), winning six of their last nine at home. The Pelicans are 16-22 on the road (19-19 ATS) but have won four of their last five away games.

The Clippers are $1.74 favourites at home and there’s plenty to like about them with Paul George back in the side. The Pelicans’ late-season surge has been impressive but they may come up just short here.

Best Bet: Margin – Clippers @ $2.88

Same Game Multi: Result – Clippers; Total – Over 222; CJ McCollum Points – Over 22.5; Paul George Points – Over 23.5 @ $10.23