2018/19 has been a year to forget for the New Orleans Pelicans. Despite lots of hope and promise surrounding the team at the beginning of the campaign, the Pelicans have slipped down the Western Conference ladder in recent months. Big changes are expected in the offseason and we could see a very different New Orleans side line up next year.
Their last five matches sum up the entire season: five wins, five defeats. Consistency is a big problem for the Pelicans – and it has been for the last few years. New Orleans need a major shift in mindset ahead of the 2019/20 campaign or else settle for another sub-par season. It won’t stick with the Pelicans fan base forever…
Meanwhile, Toronto have gone through a rough patch in recent games. The Raptors have lost two on the bounce and Nick Nurse will be demanding a response here. Things could get ugly for the Pelicans if Toronto bring their A-game this weekend and plenty of punters will fancy a high-scoring contest to go in favour of the road team.
The Raptors have a 19-12 record away from Scotiabank Arena this year – a solid enough set of results. Toronto are still neck-and-neck with the Milwaukee Bucks in terms of dominating the Eastern Conference but the Raptors are arguably better suited ahead of the playoffs. If everything goes to plan, a first NBA Championship series beckons in 2018/19.
Date: 9 March, 2019
Anthony Davis Can Only Take New Orleans So Far…
The Pelicans are in desperate need of talent on this roster. With the exception of Davis, it is a pretty ordinary set of players and New Orleans fans will be expecting the team to trade for a big name in free agency. There will be a few viable options out there…
Davis has averaged 26.8 points per game this campaign and he could make the difference once again here. Betway are going 15/8 for the Pelicans to win this contest and the hosts will need Davis to be at his brilliant best to stand any chance of upsetting the odds.
Raptors Must Avoid Complacency Ahead Of Playoffs
Toronto will be determined to get back to winning ways after back-to-back defeats. Nurse’s side were bitterly disappointing in their most recent encounter but this is the ideal stage to claim a confidence-boosting win. Write the Raptors off at your peril.
With Kawhi Leonard doing Kawhi Leonard things, Toronto are going to be difficult to stop in the 2018/19 postseason and plenty of punters will fancy the Canadian outfit to go all the way this year. 9/4 for the Raptors to win the Eastern Conference crown is an exceptional price.
Could this finally be Toronto’s time to shine on the biggest stage of all? On current form, it is difficult to back the Raptors but Nurse’s men WILL bounce back. Building momentum ahead of the playoffs is crucial and the best way to do that is by winning games.
Toronto are favourites to emerge victorious here – and with good reason. The Raptors have struggled to inspire confidence over the last week but they are a class above New Orleans in every department. If the Canadian side step up and play anywhere near their best, they will prevail.
It might end up being closer than many expect though – this isn’t going to be a blowout. The Pelicans will be buoyed by Toronto’s recent run of results and we could see an exciting clash at Smoothie King Center. Still, the smart pick is for a Raptors win and 1/2 with William Hill is a decent price.
TIP: Toronto Raptors to win (Priced at 1/2 with William Hill)
CORRECT SCORE: New Orleans Pelicans 108-117 Toronto Raptors