Pelicans vs. Kings Odds & Picks: Pels Beaming in Sacramento

The uncharted nature of the in-season tournament hits a new level tonight with the first knockout games. The biggest question has to be to what extent rotations will look like a playoff game versus another regular season tilt. The winner will not play until Thursday, so it stands to reason there could be more emphasis put on this game.

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Pelicans vs. Kings Betting Odds

Pelicans Kings
Spread +3.5 -3.5
Moneyline +136 -156
Total o236.5 u237

*lines accurate at the time of publication

Pelicans vs. Kings Best Bets

Pelicans +3.5 (-110, FanDuel)

It is never as simple as just looking at previous matchups and making a judgment off of that but there are reasons the Pelicans won both games in New Orleans against the Kings and some of those should hold tonight.

A huge reason the Pelicans have been able to slow games down slightly and win both games against the Kings, is the job Herb Jones has done to make De’Aaron Fox’s job more difficult. The two games against the Pelicans are Fox’s lowest PRA games of the season at 16 and 33. He has been averaging 41.6 PRA since returning to the lineup. When a played with a 30.1% usage since his return to the lineup is going to have a tougher road, it is going to affect the offense.

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In the first two matchups, a big difference was points in the paint. That is partially the nature of the two teams but the extremes in these matchups made the chasm even larger. In their duplex set in New Orleans, the Pelicans averaged +10.4 points in the paint over their season average and the Kings were -10.7. Sacramento’s inability to get into the paint with any regularity and seeming unwillingness to deal with the physicality of the Pelicans lowers the ceiling of their offense, even while at home.

Compared to the previous matchups, the Pelicans do have more firepower in the lineup with CJ McCollum and Trey Murphy returning. Murphy shot 40.6% on 6.3 attempts from deep per game last season and McCollum shot 38.9% last year on 7.2 attempts. The gravity of those players should boost the depth of the Pelicans to be able to win whatever second unit minutes are available and it should open up driving room for Zion Williamson with more shooters on the court at any given time.

The physicality of New Orleans is not a good matchup for Sacramento and with the reinforcements back, the ceiling for the Pelicans is very intriguing and it should show in an entertaining game.

Risk: 1.1 units on FanDuel to win 1 unit.

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