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Kings vs. Pelicans: Play-In tournament betting odds and predictions for Apr. 19

Publish Date: 04/19/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe
Key Points
  • The Pelicans will be playing without Zion Williamson, who was injured on Tuesday.
  • Sacramento's improvements on defense shined in a win over the Warriors.
  • The Pelicans rank second in 3-point defense but have fallen in the past month.
  • The Kings hold an edge in the frontcourt both on offense and on the glass.

The Sacramento Kings rose to the occasion on Tuesday, playing surprisingly solid defense in a big win over the Golden State Warriors and perhaps ending their dynasty along the way. Now, they'll need to win again to make the NBA Playoffs -- this time against a New Orleans Pelicans team that ended the season on a high note but comes into this one with a large question mark.

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Zion Williamson injured his hamstring in a very hard-fought loss against the Lakers in the first leg of the play-in tournament, leaving this team without one of its best scorers as well as an excellent playmaker and rebounder. The good news is that Brandon Ingram returned late in the regular season and seems to be fully recovered from injury, and everyone else is available.

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Still, it remains to be seen how well this team can fare without him. New Orleans did seem to rally around the Ingram injury last month, playing some of its best basketball, and does have one of the most lethal 3-point offenses in basketball which has been an area the Kings have struggled.

New Orleans has gone 7-5 without Zion Williamson this season.

Sacramento has done a much better job in that regard of late, highlighting the win on Tuesday, and will carry its lethal offense into this one against a hard-nosed New Orleans defense which should make for an excellent game.

Let's get in to the best way to bet on Kings vs. Pelicans on April 19.

SACRAMENTO KINGS VS. NEW ORLEANS PELICANS FANDUEL ODDS FOR APR. 19

MONEY LINE

  • SACRAMENTO KINGS: -104
  • NEW ORLEANS PELICANS -112

SPREAD

  • SACRAMENTO KINGS: +1 (-112)
  • NEW ORLEANS PELICANS: -1 (-108)

OVER/UNDER (TOTAL)

  • OVER 210.5 (-110)
  • UNDER 210.5 (-110)

BEST ODDS FOR SACRAMENTO KINGS VS. NEW ORLEANS PELICANS

  • The Pelicans are 1-point favorites in this one, with FanDuel offering the best price on New Orleans (-108)
  • The Kings are 1-point underdogs at most books, though Caesars has the best odds on Sacramento +1.5 (-115)

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  • The total is a bit different depending on where you shop. BetRivers has the best odds on the Under 211.5 (-112) while DraftKings has is offering the best odds on the Over 210.5 (-110)

SACRAMENTO KINGS VS. NEW ORLEANS PELICANS INJURY REPORT

SACRAMENTO KINGS INJURY REPORT

  • KEVIN HUERTER - OUT - SHOULDER
  • MALIK MONK - OUT - KNEE

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS INJURY REPORT

  • ZION WILLIAMSON - OUT - HAMSTRING
  • CODY ZELLER - AVAILABLE - FACE

WHY SACRAMENTO KINGS WILL COVER THE SPREAD

It's pretty simple, really. The Kings will win this game if they can continue to defend the 3-pointer at the level we've seen over the last couple of weeks. They held the Warriors to just 31.3% from beyond the arc in the opening leg of the play-in tournament and have allowed just 34.6% shooting from outside since the start of April, which is the ninth-best mark in the league during that time.

This is surprising given the Kings rank near the bottom of the league in 3-point defense for the season, and it's equal parts important given the Pelicans love to shoot from outside and have been very successful all year in doing so. When Ingram went down with an injury, the onus was on CJ McCollum to pick up some of the scoring load and he did so thanks to his excellent marksmanship.

The Kings also feature some incredible frontcourt play led by Domantas Sabonis which should play a big role here. They're fifth in rebounding rate since the All-Star break and while the Pelicans have been one of the better teams in the league on the glass all year they're just 19th during that time.

Yes, most of that was due to the loss of Ingram, but without Williamson this team's production on the glass will take a similar hit.

WHY NEW ORLEANS PELICANS WILL COVER THE SPREAD

The Pelicans will need to galvanize that energy they showed late last month when Ingram was lost with a serious-looking injury. They managed to reel off three wins in their next four games, and after going ice dole they finished the seasons with four straight inspired wins which featured excellence on the defensive end.

They took a step back against the Lakers in the play-in tournament, but their offense remains rather steady.

New Orleans found some hot shooting in those wins, led by McCollum, and will need to expose the Kings down low here. While they've improved around the arc, they're still 24th in rim defense since April 1 according to Cleaning the Glass, and the Pelicans have done a very solid job in the paint behind Jonas Valanciunas.

There aren't quite as many ways in on offense as New Orleans would like with the way the Kings are defending, but on the bright side they've featured the second-best 3-point defense in the league this season. They haven't had much to say at the rim defensively, and will need to rely on the return of their perimeter defense which picked up when Ingram was reinserted into the starting lineup.

FINAL KINGS-PELICANS PICK & PREDICTION

The Kings' strides on defense seem very real, as evidenced by their performance against the Warriors on Tuesday. Against an incredibly efficient offense, they managed to contest a plethora of 3-pointers and force misses, and when the ball bounced off the rum they were able to out-rebound the Warriors by seven.

What we've seen over the course of the season would point to a win here for the Pelicans, but if we focus on the trends we've seen develop over the last month or so this should be a game that Sacramento steals on the road.

Its improvements on defense will pay huge dividends, and on the flip side the Pelicans' defense has weakened on the perimeter and just allowed a 40% shooting night from deep to the Lakers.

The Kings should win on both sides of the ball against a team missing arguably its best player and punch their ticket to the playoffs.

FINAL KINGS-PELICANS PICK & PREDICTION: KINGS MONEYLINE (+100)

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