Since joining the NBA as an expansion franchise in 2002-03 the Pelicans have just one division title. New Orleans has a total of seven playoff seasons since opening its doors. In 2018 and 2008 they made it to the conference semifinals. Which is the best that this team has ever done. But most fans and gamblers believe that the Pelicans’ best days lie ahead. The arrival of 2019 top draft pick Zion Williamson has flipped the NBA odds script. However, the 2020 NBA Bubble proved to be a major disappointment for the Pelicans. New Orleans flopped when it mattered most.
2020-21 New Orleans Pelicans
2020-21 New Orleans Pelicans SBG Odds Overview
To begin with, Zion Williamson brings hype and sports betting attention. Gamblers should be careful to not pay too much on the Pelicans.
2020-21 New Orleans Pelicans Team Overview
The 2019-20 New Orleans Pelicans finished with a record of 30-42 straight up, 35-35-2 against the spread, and 38-34 over the total. New Orleans finished in last place in the Southwest Division. Overall, they ranked 5th for scoring offense and 27th for points allowed. Brandon Ingram was the leading scorer for New Orleans with 23.8 points per game. Lonzo Ball averaged 7.0 assists per game. While Derrick Favors led in rebounds with 9.8 per game.
The NBA grooved a path for New Orleans to make the playoffs. Williamson and the Pelicans were a massive disappointment. Still, Zion is the biggest name on the New Orleans marquee since either Chris Paul or Anthony Davis.
New Orleans welcomes veteran Stan Van Gundy as their new coach. To be exact Van Gundy has a career winning percentage of .577 with a total of 523 regular-season wins. He led Orlando to the 2009 NBA Finals. Van Gundy’s experience is seen as a credibility enhancer for a young roster. He knows the Association inside and out.
General manager Trajan Langdon has a unique NBA betting career history. To illustrate he brings extensive international playing and executive experience. He came to New Orleans in May of 2019 from Brooklyn where he was assistant general manager.
In the 2020 NBA Draft, the Pelicans selected guard Kira Lewis Jr of Alabama 13th overall. Lewis made the 2018 SEC All-Freshman Team. And was First Team All-SEC in 2020. Last year Lewis averaged 18.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for the Crimson Tide.
Zion Williamson played one season for Duke. While there he won consensus National College Player of the Year in 2019. Additionally, he was named ACC Athlete of the Year and ACC Player of the year. His arrival has put the Pelicans on the map with fans and gamblers. As a rookie, Williamson averaged 22.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game for New Orleans. Accordingly, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
Another former Duke star, Brandon Ingram, was the second overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Subsequently, he was traded to the Pelicans last year. Ingram was named a 2020 NBA All-Star and the NBA Most Improved Player.
2020-21 New Orleans Pelicans SBG Prognosis
In sum, the Pelicans will be exciting to watch. Williamson is a mesmerizing talent. But smart gamblers won’t get attached. They’ll want to see proof.