The New Orleans Pelicans will face the Phoenix Suns in a huge Game 5 on Tuesday night. It’s time to continue our NBA odds series and make a Pelicans-Suns prediction and pick.
This series is much closer than everyone expected it to be. The Suns, who were the most dominant team in the NBA during the regular season, have dropped two games after superstar shooting guard Devin Booker went down with a hamstring injury. Unfortunately for Phoenix, Booker has already been ruled out for the rest of the series. That means that the Pelicans should continue to keep this series close. To their credit, New Orleans has played tough, hard-nosed basketball throughout the first four games. That should continue in this one as both teams try to seize control of this first-round matchup.
Here are the Pelicans-Suns NBA Playoffs odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NBA Playoffs Odds: Pelicans-Suns Odds
New Orleans Pelicans: +6.5 (-110)
Phoenix Suns: -6.5 (-110)
Over: 215 (-108)
Under: 215 (-112)
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Why The Pelicans Could Cover The Spread
The importance of the Booker injury cannot be overstated here. During the regular season, Booker led the Suns in points per game while ranking second on the team in assists per game. He’s the only player on Phoenix who can be counted on to win one-on-one matchups, and his elite shooting is a huge asset to the team’s offense. Without him, the Suns have had trouble running their half-court offense. That won’t change in this matchup, so the Pelicans should fare well defensively in this one.
New Orleans has been surprisingly good on offense in this series. They’ve shot 47% or better from the field in each of their last three games, despite a tough matchup against the Suns defense. Star forward Brandon Ingram has been particularly good, as he’s scored 30 or more points in each of the last three games. It’s clear that the Pelicans are comfortable on offense in this matchup, and there’s no reason to think that the Suns will improve on the defensive end here.
Why The Suns Could Cover The Spread
Even without Booker, this Suns offense is nothing to scoff at. Point guard Chris Paul and center Deandre Ayton form a strong offensive duo, and Phoenix has a plethora of solid offensive wings. Cameron Johnson, Mikal Bridges, and Jae Crowder are all above-average shooters who can contribute solid scoring. It helps that the Pelicans aren’t a particularly good defensive team. They only allow 113 points per game, but they allow their opponents to shoot nearly 55% from two and 36% from three point range.
Home court advantage will play a big part here. The Suns were one of the best home teams in the NBA, earning a 32-9 record in Footprint Center. The Pelicans struggled when playing on the road, going 17-24 away from home compared to a slightly better winning percentage at home. The Suns were well on their way to winning the first two games of this series on their home court, so defending their home floor is far from out of the picture here.
Final Pelicans-Suns Prediction & Pick
This spread is too big to pick the Suns. The Pelicans have been hot offensively, and Phoenix is yet to figure out how to function optimally without Booker. Take New Orleans to cover here.
Final Pick: New Orleans Pelicans: +6.5 (-110)