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Pelicans vs. Thunder: betting odds and predictions for Apr. 21

Publish Date: 04/24/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe
Key Points
  • Oklahoma City was 33-8 and 27-14 ATS at home this season
  • The Pelicans struggled offensively in Game 1 without Zion Williamson
  • New Orleans shot just 28.2% from 3 in Game 1 and has been reliant on shooting without its stars
  • OKC's struggles on the boards in Game 1 were nothing new and shouldn't give the Pelicans an edge

After a hard-fought loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night, the New Orleans Pelicans find themselves down one game in to a Western Conference power in their opening-round playoff series.

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Beating the Thunder in OKC is a tall task, and one made even tougher without the services of Zion Williamson, and New Orleans performed admirably under the circumstances despite what was ultimately an unfavorable result.

Is there enough here to believe in New Orleans going forward, or might we be getting the Thunder at a discount in Wednesday night's Game 2?

Let's get into how to bet on Pelicans vs. Thunder on Wednesday, April 24.

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS VS. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER FANDUEL ODDS FOR APR. 24

MONEY LINE

  • NEW ORLEANS PELICANS: +245
  • OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: -300

SPREAD

  • NEW ORLEANS PELICANS: +7.5 (-110)
  • OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: -7.5 (-110)

OVER/UNDER (TOTAL)

  • OVER 211.5 (-112)
  • UNDER 211.5 (-108)

BEST ODDS FOR NEW ORLEANS PELICANS VS. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

  • The underdogs are being offered at the same price nearly across the board, with Caesars among those offering the best odds on Pelicans +7.5 (-110)  
  • BetRivers has the best odds on the Thunder -7.5 (-108)
  • The best odds on the Over are at DraftKings, offering Over 211.5 (-110). You'll find the best odds on the Under by heading to BetRivers, offering Under 212 (-112)

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS VS. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS INJURY REPORT

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

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • NONE

WHY NEW ORLEANS PELICANS WILL COVER THE SPREAD

The Pelicans have responded to adversity for well over a month now, first dealing with an injury to Brandon Ingram to rattle off some wins to make it to the play-in tournament and then finding a way into the playoffs after losing Williamson last week.

Their resilience is one of the biggest things going for them, as well as their 3-point shooting -- which finished the season at a blistering pace. That's been the key offensively without either Ingram or Williamson available to do some of the heavy lifting inside, and while the 3-point shot wasn't falling on Sunday the Pelicans can rest easy considering they've shot the 3 well enough on the road.

The other thing that New Orleans has going for it here is that after a strange month of April where its rebounding fell off a cliff, while OKC surprisingly found a wealth of success on the glass, the Pelicans commanded the glass in Game 1 by a firm margin of eight. That, with winning the turnover battle -- something they've been known to do -- could lift this team to new heights.

WHY OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER WILL COVER THE SPREAD

The Thunder were 33-8 at home this season and 27-14 against the spread, and with their elite defense ratcheting up a notch in these games they created a simply devastating atmosphere for opponents to play in.

OKC did well to stun New Orleans on this end, holding its opponent on Sunday to just 28.2% shooting from 3 and 38.5% overall from the field. It was the offense which lagged behind, particularly late in the game when the Thunder had plenty of chances to put the game away with some back-breaking buckets that simply did not come.

The pace of Game 1 was not played on the Thunder's terms, but all that should take is a slight adjustment on their part. They proved that their 3-point defense is every bit as good as their work in the frontcourt in Game 1, and while they did shoot just 31.3% from 3 that number's more of an outlier when we look at the season on the whole -- and likely to change given the Pelicans' struggles against the 3 down the stretch.

The Thunder could have easily run away with Game 1 and I think they're being offered at quite the discount here in Game 2. They were stunning on the defensive end, and even without an edge on the glass that's a position they've been in all season and remained one of the best teams in the league.

The defense here is legit, and on the flip side New Orleans has fallen off significantly in the second half -- particularly against the outside shot.

Where do I begin? The Thunder are 33-8 straight up and 27-14 against the spread at home this season, and while they've actually fared slightly worse from 3 in these games their work on defense has been significantly better, which says a lot considering this is a top-five defense in the NBA.

FINAL PELICANS-THUNDER PICK & PREDICTION

If you've followed the Thunder all year, you'll agree with me that it's simply impossible that this team would continue to shoot as poorly from beyond the arc as it did in Game 1. New Orleans' solid defense hasn't been there in months, and on the other side of the coin it's really hard to expect anything of its offense.

Williamson ranks among the best in the league in estimated offensive impact according to Dunks and Threes, and his absence has been quite evident over the course of the last two games. We also know without him, and the 3, that the Pelicans are out of ideas as to how to score the ball -- something that is damning against a defense as complete as Oklahoma City's.

I expect some positive regression to the mean out of the Thunder offense, and for the defense to look even stronger here against a team which knows if it couldn't take Game 1 on an off night for both offenses, that it likely doesn't have a prayer in the series.

FINAL PELICANS-THUNDER PICK & PREDICTION: OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER -7.5 (-108)

To keep yourself updated on the newest happenings, be sure to check out our Betting News Section. We've organized all the updates so you can find all you need, in one convenient location.

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