Top NBA Picks and Predictions Today (Can Pelicans Cover Despite Injuries?)

New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum.
New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum. / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

We have one of the lighter slates of the 2022-23 NBA season on Thursday night, with just two games, and neither is a great matchup. 

So, let’s make them interesting by placing some bets! 

I have a play on a side for both the matchups on Thursday night, let’s get after it: 

San Antonio Spurs vs. New Orleans Pelicans Odds, Prediction and Pick

I won’t try and sell you on the San Antonio Spurs being a good basketball team, but they can cover the spread in this matchup. 

New Orleans is without Brandon Ingram (toe) and Zion Williamson (health and safety protocols), which leaves them with a lack of scoring punch in this game. 

C.J. McCollum is having his worst scoring season since his second year in the NBA, and he’s shooting just 41.5 percent from the field. Even though the Spurs may not have Keldon Johnson (doubtful), I think they can improve on the 6-7 against the spread record as road dogs this season. 

I don’t think New Orleans runs away with this matchup with Trey Murphy, Larry Nance and others likely replacing the Ingram and Zion minutes. It’s an ugly bet given the Spurs’ season-long numbers, but 8.5 points is enough for them to cover here. 

Washington Wizards vs. Utah Jazz Odds, Prediction and Pick

The Washington Wizards are a brutal 4-13 on the road this season, although they did pull off a road upset against the Devin Booker-less Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night. 

Still, I don’t trust Washington in this spot, especially with Kristaps Porzingis (illness, questionable) up in the air for this game. 

The Jazz have been an elite offense this season, ranking fourth in the NBA in offensive rating, and they’re an impressive 11-5 straight up at home. 

I’ve been calling the Wizards’ regression all season, as they were bottom-10 in the league in net rating even prior to their 10-game losing streak. 

I’m not buying into a turnaround after they beat the Suns. Back the Jazz as home favorites.  

Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record here.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.