The No. 8 seed New Orleans Pelicans (2-2) heads back to Footprint Center Tuesday to play the No. 1 seed Phoenix Suns (2-2) at 10 p.m. ET (TNT). Below, we look at the Pelicans vs. Suns odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
NOLA evened the series Sunday by beating Phoenix 118-103 in Game 4. The Pelicans outscored the Suns in three of the four quarters, outperformed them in three of the “four factors” and NOLA wing Brandon Ingram scored a game-high 30 points.
Pelicans big Jonas Valančiūnas got revenge for Suns big Deandre Ayton wearing him out in Game 3. Valančiūnas outscored Ayton 26-23, outrebounded him 15-8 and attempted 9 more free throws.
However, the major takeaway from Game 4 was NOLA’s defense on Suns PG Chris Paul who had a minus-43 net rating and had almost as many turnovers (3) as points (4).
Pelicans at Suns odds and lines
- Money line (ML): Pelicans +225 (bet $100 to win $225) | Suns -290 (bet $290 to win $100)
- Against the spread: Pelicans +6.5 (-108) | Suns -6.5 (-112)
- Over/Under: 214.5 (O: -115 | U: -107)
Pelicans at Suns key injuries
- PF Zion Williamson (foot) out
- SG Devin Booker (hamstring) out
Pelicans at Suns picks and predictions
Pelicans 107, Suns 102
SPRINKLE on the PELICANS (+225) to win this game and I’m hitting both NOLA’s spread and adjusted series price of +240 harder.
The Pelicans have a personnel edge with Booker sidelined and an overwhelming edge in rebounding and free-throw attempt rates.
NOLA’s offensive rebounding rate is 16.5% higher than Phoenix’s in this series and the Pelicans have attempted 39 more free throws than the Suns because they are aggressively attacking the basket.
Without CP3 brilliance (which frankly is inconsistent come the postseason) the Suns are not a good bet to win this series if they are going to get beaten this badly in two of the “four factors”.
Ingram has become the best player in this series once Booker went down. BI is scoring a series-high 29.8 points on 62.9% true shooting (.513/.500/.879) with 6.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and a plus-9 net rating.
However, NOLA plus the points is a much sharper wager so I’d only SPRINKLE on the PELICANS (+225), if at all.