Philadelphia 76ers at New Orleans Pelicans - 10/20/21 NBA Picks and Prediction

Philadelphia 76ers at New Orleans Pelicans - 10/20/21 NBA Picks and Prediction Photo by Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Pelicans (0-0) vs Philadelphia 76ers (0-0)

Game Info: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 8:00 pm (Smoothie King Center)

Betting Odds: New Orleans Pelicans +3.5 -- Over/Under: 226.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Pelicans meet Wednesday in NBA action at the Smoothie King Center. The Philadelphia 76ers enter the second season under Doc Rivers and hope to build on last year's 49 wins. The New Orleans Pelicans won 31 games last year and will make the head coaching debut under Willie Green.

The Philadelphia 76ers enter the season in a very weird space, as they have the talent to come out of the East, but they’re dealing with the Ben Simmons drama. Word is Simmons has demanded a trade, and he’s not winning to play the 76ers again, even if that means sitting out the entire year. That promotes Tyrese Maxey to point guard and puts pressure on Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris to step up as the two stars of this team. Outside the addition of Andre Drummond and the drafting of Jaden Springer in the first round, the 76ers didn’t make any notable moves this off season. The 76ers can only hope Matisse Thybulle makes a jump entering his third year in the league. There’s potential with the 76ers, but a lot of questions won’t be answered until they move Simmons and get a return.

The New Orleans Pelicans made big changes to their roster, as they said goodbye to Lonzo Ball, moved Devonte’ Graham to point guard and added Jonas Valanciunas. Brandon Ingram is quickly becoming a legit all-star in the NBA and still has a chance to take another step forward. Of course, the Pelicans' outlook is determined on the health of Zion Williamson, who had surgery on his foot during the off season. One of the young players for the Pelicans to watch this season is Kira Lewis Jr., who flashed promise as a rookie and could be a key bench player if he improves his three-point shot. If health is on its side, the Pelicans have a chance to push for a playoff spot this season.

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The 76ers are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 Wednesday games and 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 games as a road favorite. The Pelicans are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games and 1-7 ATS in their last 8 Wednesday games. The under is 4-0 in 76ers last 4 overall. The under is 10-3 in Pelicans last 13 overall. The 76ers are 0-4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.

You can understand why the 76ers are favored, as they're the better team on paper and the Pelicans are without Zion. However, I have a hard time confidently backing the 76ers with all the drama going on right now and not having Simmons on the court. It's a toxic, toxic situation for the 76ers right now, and it can't be great trying to prepare for the season. I lean Pelicans and the points, but there are better options out there. 

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Randy’s Pick New Orleans Pelicans +3.5

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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