Pelicans Post Strong NBA Championship Odds Approaching All-Star Break

Pelicans Post Strong NBA Championship Odds Approaching All-Star Break
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

There’s a French phrase uttered in Louisiana, especially around Mardi Gras time, “Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler” — let the good times roll.

But the times haven’t been so good lately for the New Orleans Pelicans, who suffered through a 3-10 stretch to start the new year and disappoint their Louisiana sports betting fans.

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Still, the Willie Green-coached team sits in prime playoff position as the NBA regular season approaches the break for the NBA All-Star Game — which takes place Feb. 19 in Salt Lake City.

Despite its recent losing stretch, the Pelicans are among eight teams within four games of third place in the Western Conference.

The team’s current winning percentage would be the team’s best year-end figure since going 48-34 (.585) during the 2017-18 campaign.

Oddsmakers at BetMGM Sportsbook Louisiana give New Orleans +2000 odds to win the NBA championship, which ranks in a tie for 10th with Cleveland. — your home for Louisiana sportsbook promos — wanted to compare how this year’s Pelicans team stacks up to previous ones and what fans can expect down the stretch.

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How the Pelicans Got Here in 2022-23

Much of the Pelicans' success this season — providing a trend to watch at sportsbooks like ClutchBet Louisiana and bet365 Louisiana — stems from their high-powered offense, which ranks 10th in the league in points per game (115.3), combined with a swarming defense that’s tied for second in steals per game (8.5). 

The team also ranks in the top 10 in point differential per game (+2.2).

Perhaps the biggest X-factor for the Pelicans has been the health of former No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson, who’s posted a team-high 26 points per game this season in 29 games, after missing more than 140 games between 2019 and 2023 due to various injuries.

But Williamson last played Jan. 2, missing the last month with a hamstring injury that has not coincidentally coincided with the Pelicans losing skid.

The Pelicans' odds also rely on veteran guard CJ McCollum, who is averaging 21.2 points, 5.8 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game this season. The other cog in the Pelicans’ system is seventh-year forward Brandon Ingram, who is the other player averaging more than 20 points per game (averaging 20.3, to be exact).

Three other role players — in Jonas Valanciunas, Trey Murphy III and Naji Marshall — round out the Pelicans’ “all gas, no brakes” offense, with all three averaging at least 10 points per game.

Valanciunas has been the Pelicans unquestioned leader on the glass, averaging a team-high 9.9 rebounds per game in his 12th season in the league, while adding 14.8 ppg.

The net result of the on-court camaraderie NBA veterans like Valanciunas and McCollum have forged with younger stars-in-the-making like Williamson could be a playoff run to remember.

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Christopher Boan writes for and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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