New York Knicks vs New Orleans Pelicans

New York Knicks vs New Orleans Pelicans | 2021 NBA Expert Analysis

Written by on April 14, 2021

The New York Knicks were hoping to win the 2019 NBA Draft lottery and earn the chance to draft then-Duke star Zion Williamson – but the Pelicans were the lucky franchise to get him. The Knicks visit Zion and New Orleans on Wednesday with the Pels favored on the NBA odds.

How to Bet Knicks at Pelicans NBA Odds & TV Info

  • When: Wednesday, 8 PM ET
  • Where: Smoothie King Center
  • TV: NBA League Pass
  • Stream:, NBA TV app
  • Radio:
  • NBA Odds: Pelicans -1.5 (total 220)

Last Meeting

This is the first meeting between the teams – they play again Sunday. They played just once last season and the Pelicans won 123-111 at New York. Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 28 points on 11-of-18 (.611) shooting from the field. New Orleans shot 48-of-86 (.558) from the floor and 18-of-38 (.474) from behind the arc. Former Pelican Julius Randle was inactive in last year’s contest for New York and was not able to face off against his former team due to personal reasons. New Orleans leads the all-time series 20-17 and is 10-8 at home. Stan Van Gundy is 28-13 (.683) all-time against the Knicks. New York head coach Tom Thibodeau is 12-7 all-time against New Orleans.

Why Bet on New York?

The Knicks won their third in a row Monday, 111-96 over the visiting Lakers to get back over .500 at 28-27. All-Star Julius Randle hit 13-of-23 shots, two 3-pointers and 6-of-7 free throws for 34 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals, a block and seven turnovers. The seven turnovers were his third-highest total of the season. Through 54 games, Randle is averaging career highs in points (23.0), rebounds (10.7), steals (0.9) and three-pointers (2.0). The seventh-year forward is enjoying a career year.

Second-year player RJ Barrett was just 2-for-11 for seven points with seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. The 20-year-old’s seven-point performance was his lowest scoring output since Feb. 23. Before Monday’s game, Barrett was averaging 20.8 points, 3.2 three-pointers, 3.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 steals over his past five games.

Barrett and Pelicans star Zion Williamson were teammates for their one season at Duke before coming out in the 2019 NBA Draft. Williamson went No. 1 overall and after Memphis took Ja Morant at No. 2, the Knicks selected Barrett with the third overall pick.

Elfrid Payton had 20 points with three rebounds and two assists in Monday’s win. The Knicks are 8-3 this season when Payton records five or more assists and 16-6 when he has five or more field goals made in a game. The 27-year-old scored 20 points for the first time since March 4. Payton had been playing well before Monday’s game, averaging 10.0 points, 3.4 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 1.2 three-pointers and 0.8 steals over his last five games.

Why Bet on New Orleans?

New Orleans won its third in a row Monday, 117-110 over the Kings. Zion Williamson finished with 30 points (13-of-21 FGs, 4-of-8 FTs), six rebounds, four assists and one block in 39 minutes.

The defense was heavily focused on Williamson the entire night, and he was still able to be extraordinarily efficient. Williamson has shot 50% or better from the floor in 30 of his past 31 games. Williamson scored at least 30 points for the fourth time in his last five games. While he’s shot an impressive 59.4 percent from the field in that span, he’s shot a detrimental 66.7 percent from the free-throw line.

Brandon Ingram had 34 points, seven assists, six rebounds, two blocks and one steal across 33 minutes. After shooting 33.3 percent from the field in his first two games back from a toe injury, Ingram found his shot once again. He also earned double-digit trips to the free-throw line for the eighth time this season

Kira Lewis Jr. nearly fouled out of Monday’s game in 15 minutes, but still chipped in 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting, three assists, one steal and one rebound. The Pelicans’ backcourt remains short-handed without Lonzo Ball (left hip flexor) and Nickeil Alexander-Walker (left high ankle sprain). They are all questionable here.

This will be Zion’s first game against the Knicks. The 2019 first overall pick was injured for the Knicks’ preseason matchup last season and also missed the regular-season Garden contest. Their second game last April slated for New Orleans was canceled by the pandemic. The 20-year-old is averaging 26.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 62 percent. He’s still not taking a lot of 3s but is making 36 percent of them.

“It’s unusual because it’s power and speed,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said of Zion. “And usually when you have the power, you don’t have the speed or if you have the speed, you don’t have the power and he has both. Very skilled, puts a lot of pressure on you, dynamic play-maker.”

New York’s Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton were both members of the Pelicans during the 2018-19 season. Zion and Knicks forward RJ Barrett were teammates at Duke University during the 2018-19 season.

Game Trends

  • Knicks are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 road games.
  • Pelicans are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 Wednesday games.
  • Under is 13-5 in the last 18 meetings.
  • Knicks are 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings in New Orleans.
  • Under is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in New Orleans.

Expert Prediction

  • Pelicans 109, Knicks 107

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