We're set for another exciting NBA Playoffs series as we bring you our betting predictions and picks for this Game 1 matchup in the Western Conference. Play-In Tournament winners and 8-seed New Orleans Pelicans will visit the 1-seed Oklahoma City Thunder in a tight series during the first round. Check out our NBA odds series for our Game 1 Pelicans-Thunder prediction and pick.

The New Orleans Pelicans find themselves in the final spot following their win-or-go-home victory over the Sacramento Kings. It marked a perfect 6-0 season against the Kings and their last win was the most important – now they face OKC who they've gone 1-2 against and looking to prove their toughness in this series early.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are the West's best team by record and they're rewarded with a hobbled New Orleans team in the first round. The Thunder have won their last five consecutive games to close the season and they hold the one-seed for the first time since 2012 when they made it to the conference finals. Their journey back to greatness starts here.

Here are the NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

NBA Playoffs Odds: Pelicans-Thunder Game 1 Odds

New Orleans Pelicans: +8 (-106)

Moneyline: +275

Oklahoma City Thunder: -8 (-114)

Moneyline: -340

Over: 215 (-110)

Under: 215 (-110)

How to Watch Pelicans vs. Thunder Game 1 

Time: 9:30 p.m. ET/ 6:30 p.m. PT


Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial)

Why The Pelicans Could Cover The Spread/Win

The New Orleans Pelicans got a lucky draw in facing the Sacramento Kings last game and despite missing their biggest star in Zion Williamson, the squad was able to carry the load and come away with their most crucial win of the season. Brandon Ingram took full control of the game with 24 points on an efficient shooting night and the hustle from players like Jonas Valanciunas and Larry Nance Jr. swung the momentum in favor of the Pelicans numerous times. At home, we've seen this team heat-up in a hurry and they'll be looking to do the same and steal a game this series.

It's still unclear how much time Zion Williamson will miss, but the current spread could be indication that he still won't be ready to go. Brandon Ingram will have to carry this team in Williamson's absence and he would appreciate CJ McCollum coming around too and making an impact. He was relatively quiet during the Play-In Tournament and they'll need him to be effective if they want a chance to upset the Thunder. The Pelicans have been scorching it from beyond the arc so look for them to continue shooting with a green light here.

Why The Thunder Could Cover The Spread/Win

The Oklahoma City Thunder are deserving of this one-seed in the West and it's clear their young lineup is poised for this moment in the Playoffs. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is coming into this series following an MVP-caliber season and he'll be looking to get his team going with his mid-range game and ability to draw fouls. He's one of the NBA's best in getting to the line and with the gaps left by Zion Williamson in the New Orleans defense, we could see SGA approach this game aggressively as he tries to score around the rim. Look for players like Josh Giddey to have an impact down the stretch as the Thunder look to pull away and widen their lead.

Oklahoma City is one of the best teams against the spread in the NBA, covering at a 56.8% clip this year. They're also one of the better home teams in the West and with this franchise starved for playoff success, we can expect the crowd to be out in full force for this game. The Thunder will have success here if they're able to use their rest to push the pace and try to get New Orleans running in transition. It may take some time for them to find their groove again, but they should be leading this game for much of the second half.

Final Pelicans-Thunder Prediction & Pick

This series would be much closer if Zion Williamson was expected to play, but the New Orleans Pelicans will have to continue without him for the time being. The Oklahoma City Thunder will have the better matchups positionally, but they're still a young lineup and lack the playoff experience needed to really close a series out. After their stellar regular season, we'll get a chance to see what the West's top seed is really made of.

I think the home environment for the Thunder will be a massive advantage in this game and with the recent hustle the Pelicans have displayed during the Play-In Tournament, they could be playing this Game 1 on some tired legs to start. For our prediction, we'll side with the Oklahoma City Thunder to cover this spread and get the win as their offense down the stretch will be too much to handle for the Pelicans.

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Final Pelicans-Thunder Prediction & Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder -8 (-106)