76ers vs Pelicans Prediction, Picks & Player Props: Will Embiid & Zion put on a show in New Orleans?

By | December 30, 2022

Two forces of nature will collide tonight in New Orleans as Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers (20-13, 6-8 away, 5th in the Eastern Conference) will face off with Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans (22-12, 15-4 home, 1st in the Western Conference) tonight at the Smoothie King Center (8:00 pm ET/7:00 pm local time).

The Sixers’ eight-game win streak came to an end at Washington on Tuesday, but with a win tonight, they will improve to 2-1 on their current four-game road trip, which will wrap up tomorrow night at Oklahoma City.

The Pelicans had a little blip in the middle of this month, losing four in a row, but they enter tonight’s matchup with three straight wins and will be aiming to wrap up a perfect three-game homestand.

This is the first of two meetings in four days between the 76ers and Pelicans, with the rematch set for Tuesday night in Philadelphia.

Who will take tonight’s matchup in New Orleans? Read on for our 76ers vs Pelicans prediction, as well as our picks for the game.

Philadelphia 76ers vs New Orleans Pelicans Odds

Game odds are via FanDuel as of Friday, December 30, 2022, at 12:20 pm ET. This article may also include odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites.

Spread

  • Philadelphia 76ers -1 (-110)
  • New Orleans Pelicans + (-110)

Over/Under

  • Over 229.5 (-112)
  • Under 229.5 (-108)

Moneyline

  • Philadelphia 76ers -116
  • New Orleans Pelicans -102

Will Maxey’s Return Tip the Scales in Philadelphia’s Favor?

After averaging 17.5 PPG and shooting 42.7% from three in his second NBA season, guard Tyrese Maxey got off to a great start this season, averaging 22.9 PPG and shooting 42.2% from three through 15 games.

Maxey has not played since November 18 due to a fractured left foot, but the 76ers have managed to go 12-6 without him.

The former Kentucky star is set to make his return to the court tonight in New Orleans, which is great timing, given that the Pelicans rank second in the NBA in defending the three (33.6%). Only the 76ers themselves, at 32.9%, are better in that category.

Maxey shouldn’t be expected to score 25+ in his return, but his return will be a very, very welcome sight for Sixers fans.

Their Big Three of Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Maxey has not played together since October 29. All in all, they have played just six games together this season.

How Will Zion Follow Wednesday’s Heroics?

Five different players have led the Pelicans in scoring in their last five games, so they are certainly not all about Zion. But Zion is very much the star of the show, and he is coming off of a career-high 43 points in a thrilling win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

Against the Timberwolves, Williamson was 14 of 21 from the field overall, made his only three-point attempt, and hit 14 of his 19 free-throw attempts. It was quite the return after he had missed the previous three games due to illness.

This month, Zion has scored 30+ points six times in nine games, and he is averaging 30.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG, and 5.8 APG.

Zion has put up better offensive numbers at home than on the road this season, averaging 26.6 PPG and shooting 64.6% in 13 home games compared to 25.1 PPG and shooting 57.1% in 13 road games.

Philadelphia 76ers vs New Orleans Pelicans Prediction and Picks

76ers vs Pelicans Prediction: 76ers to win

76ers vs Pelicans Picks: 76ers/Pelicans over (Best Value: over 228.5 @ BetMGM) & 76ers team total over 114.5

The 76ers are just 6-8 ATS and SU on the road this season, but they are 7-3 ATS and 6-4 SU overall against Western Conference opposition.

The Pelicans, meanwhile, are 7-4 SU and 6-5 ATS against Eastern Conference opposition this season, and they are 15-4 SU and 11-8 ATS at the Smoothie King Center.

I don’t really love any of the moneyline or spread options at my disposal–I would back the Sixers with a returning Maxey if I had to make a choice–but I do really like the over tonight.

I also really like the over on Philadelphia’s team total, which can be found at 114.5 at a number of spots. The Pelicans may be winning, but they are also giving up a lot of points most nights. In their last ten games, they have given up 115+ points nine times.

Philadelphia 76ers vs New Orleans Saints Player Props

  • James Harden over 10.5 assists

This is a high total, but Harden has had 21, 13, and 13 assists in his last three games. That makes plus odds for this–the highest I have seen is +117 at BetRivers–way too good to pass up.

There are times when the value is so good that you don’t feel all that bad if it loses, and this is one of those spots, especially with Maxey back in action.

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