Pelicans odds vs. Suns: NOLA huge underdogs on the road in game 1

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) is defended by New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) is defended by New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans shocked the NBA by claiming the 8th seed after starting the season 1-12, but their work is not finished.

The Pels will travel to Phoenix tonight to take on the 1st-place Suns in the first game of the NBA Playoffs.

This will be the first trip to the playoffs for Brandon Ingram and I am excited for him, as he is one of the NBA’s most underrated players and will finally get his chance to show what he can do on the big stage.

The Suns not only had the best record in the NBA by a whopping eight games this season, but have beaten the Pelicans handily in three of their four matchups.

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However, the Pels were only at full strength for one of them (the game they won) and the Suns were missing Chris Paul in that one, so we’ve not seen these two teams with a full complement of players.

All of the head-to-head matchups were blowouts this season, so it is hard to get a gauge on this one going in. Can the New Orleans Pelicans shock the world and get a game one victory against the mighty Suns?

New Orleans Pelicans @ Phoenix Suns: Odds, spread, over/under and best bets

According to WynnBET, the Pelicans are 10.5 point underdogs on the road tonight against the Suns, which makes sense, as all of Phoenix’s wins over New Orleans this season were by double digits.

But two of them came before the CJ McCollum trade and Ingram was missing from the other, so I expect this game to be a lot closer. The Suns have only lost nine games at home all season, so I don’t expect the Pelicans to win this one, but I do like them to cover.

New Orleans has shown they are a team that will fight for 48 minutes and can overcome double-digit deficits (as they did against the Clippers), so I expect Willie Green to have his team prepared to battle and not give up even if they get down big early.

The money lines are set at +425 for New Orleans and -575 for Phoenix. If the Pels are going to steal a game in Phoenix, it is most likely to be this one, as they are coming off a big win, have momentum and the Suns haven’t played in a week and may need a game to shake off the rust.

My point is that if you want to make a long shot bet in this series, game 1 is usually a good time to do it.

The over/under is 224.5 points and I like the under, as both of these teams are good defensively and it should be a slower-paced game. They went under this mark in three of their four matchups this season and I like the under again in this one.

As for daily fantasy, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum combined for 60 points in the lone win over the Suns this season and they will need huge games from both again if they want to pull off the upset.

Jonas Valanciunas is coming off a poor performance, so you may want to stick with the low-cost guys, as both Trey Murphy III and Jose Alvarado played significant minutes for the Pels in their win over the Clippers and should do so again.

Larry Nance Jr. might be your best low-cost play in daily fantasy, as he put up 14 points and 16 rebounds in just 24 minutes in the last win and should be productive off the bench again.

How to watch Pelicans @ Suns

The tip-off in Phoenix isn’t until 8:00 PM CT, which is unfortunately as good as it is going to get for the Pelicans in this series, as all of the games are scheduled for late starts. You can watch the game on Bally Sports New Orleans or listen on ESPN 100.3 FM.

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