The New Orleans Pelicans will take on the Phoenix Suns on Friday night. It’s time to continue our NBA odds series and make a Pelicans-Suns prediction and pick.
These teams have had vastly different seasons. The Pelicans started the season as one of the worst teams in the NBA, but they’ve taken a couple of huge steps towards competency, including the acquisition of shooting guard CJ McCollum. They’ve earned a 23-36 record on the year, good for the 12th seed in the Western Conference. The Suns, on the other hand, began the season with dominance and haven’t looked back. Phoenix owns a league-leading 49-10 record, a mark that has given them a hammerlock on the first seed in the West. Regardless of the records at play, this should be an interesting game, so let’s get into the pick.
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Here are the Pelicans-Suns NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NBA Odds: Pelicans-Suns Odds
New Orleans Pelicans: +6.5 (-110)
Phoenix Suns: -6.5 (-110)
Over: 229.5 (-112)
Under: 229.5 (-108)
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Why The Pelicans Could Cover The Spread
While the Suns have obviously been the best team in the NBA this season, they do tend to play down to their opponents a little bit. Phoenix still wins the easy matchups, but they’re much closer than they should be. Two games before the All-Star Break the Suns gave up 121 points to the Houston Rockets in a three-point win. A couple of weeks before, they only beat the San Antonio Spurs by five and then lost to the Atlanta Hawks two games later. If the Suns overlook this New Orleans team, there’s a good chance this turns into a close affair.
Injuries remain a concern for the Suns, even after an extended time off. Star point guard Chris Paul will miss a ton of time with a thumb injury, and backup point guard Cameron Payne has already been ruled out of this contest. The Suns have experimented with Devin Booker and Cameron Johnson at the position, but neither were particularly great. Players like Aaron Holiday will likely be forced into action in this game, something the Pelicans should capitalize on.
Why The Suns Could Cover The Spread
Phoenix is the statistically superior team in almost every single category here, but their edge on the offensive end is what should make the biggest impact. The Suns lead the league in points per game while sporting some ridiculously efficient shooting numbers. They rank inside the top five in the NBA in effective field goal percentage, shooting efficiency, and shooting percentage. All of those numbers should play well against this terrible Pelicans defense.
Phoenix has been fantastic at just about everything this year, including defending their home court. The Suns are 26-5 when they play at Footprint Center, with an only slightly worse record on the road. New Orleans doesn’t have a winning record at home or away, but their winning percentage plummets from 43% at home to 34% on the road. Phoenix has a significant advantage by virtue of their home floor here.
Final Pelicans-Suns Prediction & Pick
This is an easy pick. the spread is just too small to ever think the Pelicans can cover in this spot. Lock in the Suns with confidence.
Final Pelicans-Suns Prediction & Pick: Phoenix Suns: -7 (-110)