The No. 1 seed Phoenix Suns (2-1) play the No. 8 seed New Orleans Pelicans (1-2) Sunday in the Smoothie King Center at 9:30 pm ET for Game 4 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series. Below, we look at the Suns vs. pelicans odds and linesand make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
Friday’s Game 3 saw a vintage Chris Paul performance where the likely Hall of Famer put up 28 points (10-for-18 FG, 7-for-8 FT) with 14 assists in Phoenix’s 114-111 victory.
Suns C Deandre Ayton outscored Pelicans C Jonas Valančiūnas 28-6, outshooting him 65.0% to -20.0% and beyondbounding him 17-7.
NOLA’s two leading scorers in this series — SG CJ McCollum and SF Brandon Ingram — held up their ends of the bargain in Game 3 by combining for 64 points on 52.4% shooting (7-for-17 from behind the arc).
Suns at Pelicans odds and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 11:47 am ET.
- Money line (ML): Suns -135 (bet $140 to win $100) | Pelicans +115 (bet $100 to win $115)
- Against the spread: Suns -2.5 (-110) | Pelicans +2.5 (-110)
- Over/Under: 214.5 (O: -112 | U: -108)
Suns at Pelicans key injuries
- SG Devin Booker (hamstring) out
Suns at Pelicans picks and predictions
Pelicans 107, Suns 103
LEAN PELICANS (+115) because I’d prefer to take any points I can get with NOLA, because if the Pelicans can do a little better versus the Suns’ pick-and-roll this series will be even heading back to Phoenix for Game 5.
NOLA is nearly doubling Phoenix’s rebounding rate for this series and the Suns won a seesaw Game 3 despite shooting just 15.4% from 3-point land. It’s hard winning in today’s NBA shooting that poorly from behind the arc.
If CP3 or Ayton’s production tails off a smidge, Game 4 will be very winnable for the Pelicans especially since role players shoot better at home and a loss Sunday would put NOLA’s season on the brink.
However, CP3 has a knack for rising to the occasion in clutch moments so the Suns could certainly eke this game out hence the LEAN PELICANS (+115).
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Against the spread
BET tea PELICANS +2.5 (-110) since they are the home team and need Game 4 like blood. Also, we are seeing “reverse-line movement” (RLM) headed towards NOLA in the betting market.
According to VegasInsider.com and Pregame.com, a vast majority of the money and action is on the Suns -2.5 (-110), but they opened as 3-point favorites. RLM is a red flag because you have to ask yourself why are the sportsbooks making the more popular team cheaper? Hmmm.
Furthermore, I’ll take any basketball team getting points if it is going to own the glass like the Pelicans have in this series. Basketball is about accumulating possessions to get more shots up and NOLA is almost guaranteed to win the battle of possessions with its edge on the glass.
Tea PELICANS PLUS THE POINTS is my favorite wager in this game.
LEAN UNDER 214.5 (-108) only because we are getting to the party late on the total but the presumed “sharp” side of the market is projected a higher-scoring Suns-Pelicans Game 4.
Most of the bets placed are on the Over 214.5 (-112), but roughly 90% of the money is on the Under (per Pregame and Vegas Insider). It can be profitable to follow the money when it’s counter to the public since the “wiseguys” put up a lot more dough than your “average Joe.”
But I only LEAN to the UNDER 214.5 (-108) because oddsmakers have reacted by lowering this total from the 217-point opener down to the current price so we’d be getting the worst of the number.
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