Pelicans vs. Suns Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
Tuesday night presents us with a Western Conference battle between two teams with a combined record of 3-9 to start the season. One of those records makes sense with the New Orleans Pelicans sitting at 1-6, but the 2-3 Phoenix Suns who went to the NBA Finals last year is quite surprising.
There is a lot of news to break down here on both sides, especially the injury situations. This could be a situation where we take advantage of the line and assume all players are in the lineup because this is a national televised game on TNT.
Let’s dive in and find out the best way to attack this game.
Which of the Pelicans Stars Suit Up?
Injuries are seriously taking a toll on the New Orleans Pelicans early in the year. Zion Williamson will be out for 2-3 more weeks. He has yet to step foot on the court this season. Brandon Ingram and Devonte’ Graham are both listed as questionable for the game tonight.
If both Ingram and Graham were to miss, that is going to be a major problem for the Pelicans in this matchup. Ingram leads the team in Usage Rate with 30.2% and points with 25.0 per game. He is second on the team in both rebounds with 7.3 per game and assists with 4.8 per game.
Graham has almost been just as important as he leads the Pelicans in assists with 5.1 per game and steals with 1.4 per game. He is second on the team in usage rate 23.8% while scoring 17.9 points per game. Over 50% usage rate and over 40 points per game between these two players.
Their one saving grace if those two are out is Jonas Valanciunas. He is having a monster year averaging 19.4 points per game and 14.6 rebounds per game. He is really taking advantage of his career-high 34.1 minutes per game.
The Pelicans have lost their past three games, which were all at home, by a combined 13 points. They have lost 10 of their last 11 games dating back to last season. However, the Over has hit in four of their last five games.
Despite potentially without two of their best players, the public is backing them as an underdog. They are getting 60% of the bets and 72% of the money according to our Public Betting Dashboard. It helps knowing that the Suns have failed to cover the spread in eight of their last nine games.
Can the Runner-Up Suns Bounce Back?
The Suns have a little injury situation of their own with center Deandre Ayton questionable to play in this game. He is averaging a double-double again for the fourth consecutive year. The steady piece in the middle of this defense may be out, which would move back-up journeyman JaVale McGee into the starting lineup. McGee has yet to play more than 18 minutes in a game this season and would have quite the test against Valanciunas.
In three games without Ayton last season the Suns won all three, but had one cover, one push, and failed to cover in their other game. The over hit in two out of those three games. This all could be for nothing if Ayton suits up, but it’s good to keep in mind.
The Suns have failed to cover the spread in eight of their last nine games. There is a reason the public is on the Pelicans here as they are getting 60% of the bets and 72% of the money.
Seven of the past eight games between the Suns and Pelicans have gone Over the total points line. With the line set at only 215 and moving down since it opened at 217.5, that number seems awfully enticing.
Both of these teams have been poor defensively to start the season. The Suns rank 23rd in Defensive Rating, while the Pelicans rank 25th. Similarly they haven’t been that great on the offensive end either with the Suns ranking 23rd in Offensive Rating, while the Pelicans rank 20th.
Another benefit to the over in this game is the Suns play at the 10th fastest pace this season. If you remove Ayton from the floor and add in rim-runner McGee, that pace will increase.
There is a ton of injuries to monitor in this game. The best place to do that is with the Fantasy Labs news dashboard. However, with three important players with the questionable tag, that creates an opportunity if we can guess correctly. Given this is a national televised game also helps us in this situation.
As soon as I make a pick I know there will be news coming in, that’s just how this goes. I am going to assume all three big names (Ingram, Graham, and Ayton) all play tonight because this is a game on TNT. I am most confident in picking all players in than trying to decide which one or multiple of them sit.
Maybe that isn’t the route you want to go, but that’s how I am treating this one. Although taking the Pelicans here against the spread is enticing, I am going to go with an over bet as my pick. I would target this pick on DraftKings to get the best value.
The Pace and the lack of defense both of these two teams have shown to start the season, should present an ample opportunity to light up the scoreboard.
Pick: Over 214.5 (bet to 216.5)