Pelicans vs Thunder: Bet New Orleans on the Road

Action Network contributor Joe Dellera details how to bet Pelicans vs Thunder in Wednesday's ESPN showcase.

Pelicans vs. Thunder Odds

Pelicans Odds +3.5
Thunder Odds -3.5
Moneyline +140 / -165
Over/Under 227.5
Time Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The New Orleans Pelicans take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in this contest between two playoff hopefuls. Both teams have had strong starts to the season with the Pelicans 2-1 and the Thunder 3-1 and now are looking to stay hot. Let’s break down this matchup between two of the most exciting young teams in the NBA.

Pelicans vs. Thunder Picks, Prediction

This matchup pits Zion Williamson against Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in a must-watch showdown between two of the best interior scorers in the league. But before we get into who is playing, let’s discuss who is not. The Thunder have listed Jaylin Williams (hamstring), and Kenrich Williams (back) as Out for this game while the Pelicans will be without Naji Marshall (knee), Jose Alvarado (ankle), and Trey Murphy (knee) and they have also listed Brandon Ingram (knee) as Questionable, an injury they held him out of their last game against the Warriors. If Ingram is unable to go, expect a bump in Usage from CJ McCollum – his assists may be a viable play in that event.

So far this season, both of these teams have played at an Above Average Pace, but what has been interesting is they both play much faster on the offensive side of the ball than the defensive side an I expect offense to dictate the Pace of this contest.

One of the problems for the Thunder in this game will be how they are able to contain Zion Williamson. Zion is an absolute force and we just saw how Chet Holmgren struggled in a matchup against a much bigger Nikola Jokic due to their weight difference (besides Jokic being the best player in the world). Zion is a much more explosive player, and even though he is only averaging 22 points per game, this could be his breakout spot against an undersized Oklahoma City frontcourt. Last year when Zion played against OKC, he recorded 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.

One interesting thing to watch in this game will be the rebounding battle. New Orleans has actually been the league’s worst team in rebounding percentage in three games into the season; however, I expect that to change. Last year, with nearly identical personnel they were fifth in rebounding percentage. The battle on the glass could determine this game and even though Oklahoma City has added Chet Holmgren, I expect them to continue being a below average rebounding team.

Pelicans vs. Thunder Picks, Odds

This game should be a fun and tightly contested game between two up and coming teams in the West. I lean the Pelicans in this spot, regardless of Ingram’s status. The Pelicans and Zion should be able to get whatever they want on the interior in this game and I’ll gladly take the 3.5 points on the road.

Pick: Pelicans +3.5