New Orleans Pelicans vs. San Antonio Spurs Same-Game Parlay: Riding Red-Hot Trends Heading Into the Play-In

The San Antonio Spurs travel to New Orleans to play the Pelicans in the 9th vs 10th NBA West play-in game tonight. Expert handicapper Gray Gutfreund is here to break down this same-game parlay.
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The New Orleans Pelicans are hosting the San Antonio Spurs tonight -- this one tips off at 9:30 PM ET. The winner will head to Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Friday night.

New Orleans and San Antonio somehow have a chance to sneak into the playoffs despite each finishing at least six games behind the 8th-seeded Clippers. The Pelicans had an abysmal start to the season, but then righted the ship thanks to the stellar play of Brandon Ingram. Then, their midseason addition of CJ McCollum completely changed their destiny. McCollum has been a borderline all-star for years and was just what the team needed to make a late-season push. And, he's just what we need to put together a strong parlay for tonight's game.

New Orleans Pelicans vs San Antonio Spurs Same-Game Parlay (-132) (Bet $132 to win $100)

*Odds Available at FanDuel at Time of Publishing*

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Leg 1: CJ McCollum 4+ Assists

Let's start with our first leg: CJ McCollum.

The former Trail Blazers guard has reached this mark in every single game with the Pelicans except for the team's final regular-season game (he only played six minutes). In 25 full contests with New Orleans, CJ averaged 6.0 assists on 11.4 potential assists per game.

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CJ has already faced the Spurs three times since putting on a Pelicans uniform. Of course, he reached the four assist mark in all three games. This became the norm for ball-dominant guards against the Spurs all year long. San Antonio played at the fifth-fastest pace this season. And, even though tempo slows down come postseason time, this will still be a bit of a pace-up spot for the Pels.

Another good sign for CJ's assists today is a likely increase in minutes that almost always comes for key players in big games. It's safe to expect at least 36-38 minutes for McCollum in a do-or-die game with New Orleans' season on the line tonight. He's averaged 6.5 assists per 38 minutes since arriving in New Orleans and should be in line for 11-12 potential assists this evening. We just need CJ's teammates to make about a third of their shots on feeds from him and we'll be all set.

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Leg 2: Jonas Valanciunas Under 23.5 Points

Now, for our second leg: Jonas Valanciunas.

Valanciunas has given the Pels quality minutes as the team's starting center all year long. However, he's an extremely irregular 25-point scorer and sees a significant scoring decrease when playing alongside both McCollum and Ingram.

The 29-year-old big man has remained under the 23.5 mark in 61 of his 74 games this season, averaging 17.8 PPG. That's already a nice hit rate for this parlay, but when he shares the floor with New Orleans' two stars, this under looks even more appealing.

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Valanciunas scored fewer than 20 points in every single game with McCollum and Ingram this season. JV averaged just 16.1 PPG across these games. His Usage Rate also dropped from 23.8% to 20.9% in these 14 games, as he clearly had to adapt to a smaller role in the offense.

Additionally, this matchup has been far from a walk in the park for Valanciunas. In all four games against San Antonio this season, he failed to score more than 18 points. He totaled 18, 17, 17, and 16 in these contests. And, to top things off, he's never scored more than 23 points vs. San Antonio in his entire career.

You can also get Valanciunas Under 19.5 Points for a nice price of -120 over at FanDuel, and this is playable at Under 18.5 elsewhere. Look for the Pelicans' vets to take care of business in the team's biggest game of the season tonight.

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Gray is a massive New York sports fan, and is an NBA & NFL oracle. He’s a passionate writer with a strong background in statistics, and loves putting out player props! You can follow him on Twitter @PropBetGuru.

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