Pelicans vs. Suns Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars Sportsbook<!–FanDuel–>. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
Friday night features a playoff rematch between the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans. The Suns won that series, 4-2, but the Pelicans put up a great fight as the No. 8 seed.
Tonight will be a little different as the Pelicans are dealing with injuries to four of their five starters. We will need to monitor their status as we get closer to tip-off, but the Suns are six-point home favorites, which feels a little short.
Last season, the Suns were the best regular season team in the league. They are off to an awesome start once again and look poised for another great year.
Will the Pelicans Be Fully Healthy?
After a great run to the playoffs last season, the New Orleans Pelicans have started out this year 3-1, their only blemish being a one-point loss to the surprising Utah Jazz. The Pelicans rank second in Offensive Rating (118.7) and are scoring 122 points per game, the third-best mark in the league.
The Pelicans snuck out a two-point home victory over the Mavericks in their last game, but the surprising part was that they did so without Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Herbert Jones. As for Friday, Ingram is out and Jones, Williamson and CJ McCollum are all listed as questionable.
The Pelicans played well last game and their role players stepped up in a big way, but that was at home. Friday will be much different test, on the road against the Suns, a team that won a league-best 32 home games and had the third-best Defensive Rating a season ago.
Jonas Valanciunas has yet to play 30 minutes in a game this season, but still leads the Pelicans with 11.5 rebounds per game. He’s also averaging a double-double for the fifth-straight season. The Pelicans may need Valanciunas to play a bit more in this game, especially if Williamson remains out, to defend center Deandre Ayton.
This game likely comes down to how healthy the Pelicans three starters are and if they are able to suit up. It is hard to back a team that can’t stay healthy.
Suns Steady Offensively Despite Moving Parts
The Phoenix Suns are also off to a 3-1 start and aren’t dealing with any injuries. The Suns seem poised for another great year and their only loss thus far is a two-point loss to the Trail Blazers.
Devin Booker leads the Suns in points with 32.5 per game as he is off to a scorching hot start, shooting 53% from the field and 48% from behind the arc. Chris Paul has forgone scoring — he’s averaging a career-low 9.8 points — in an attempt to lead the league in assists for the second consecutive year.
With Jae Crowder on his way out of town, the Suns have moved Cameron Johnson into the starting lineup. It has been a rough start as he is shooting 38.5% from the field and 56.4% of his field goal attempts have come from downtown. Last season, the Pelicans allowed their opponents to shoot 36.5% from deep, which ranked as the fifth-highest mark in the league. It may be bombs away for Johnson and Booker on Friday night.
After almost leaving in the off-season, Ayton doesn’t seem like he’s missed a beat. He is averaging a career-high 18.3 points per game despite being in constant foul trouble and only averaging 30.8 minutes a night. In their six-game playoff series against the Pelicans, Ayton averaged 20.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game while shooting 70% from the field.
The Suns have beat the Clippers and Warriors by a combined 46 points in their past two games. When they get clicking, they can run a team out of the building, especially at home. Last season, the Suns shot a league-best 48.5% from the field. Phoenix is scoring 116 points per game over its first four games and should have no trouble filling it up against an injured Pelicans team.
With so many injuries and a trio of New Orleans’ key players being questionable, it is tough to know what to do in this spot. However, even if all three of Williamson, McCollum and Jones play, this is a game where the Suns can run them out of the gym.
Take the Suns before the line moves in case any of these players get ruled out. The big news is obviously Williamson and McCollum. If both get ruled out, feel comfortable taking this line all the way up to 10 points as the Suns should roll.
Pick: Phoenix Suns -6 (-110)