NBA Picks

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Betting Pick

The 2024 NBA Playoffs are currently taking place, and there are a couple of First Round Series games on the schedule on Wednesday night. In one of those games, the New Orleans Pelicans will look to even up the series against the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

New Orleans was the final team to qualify for the Western Conference Playoffs this season despite going 49-33 throughout the year. The Pelicans are trying to steal home court advantage by winning this game, and they nearly pulled it off in the series opener. 

Oklahoma City had the best record in the Western Conference during the regular season as they went 57-25. The Thunder are a team without much postseason experience, but they do have the backing of a raucous home crowd. 

The Thunder are big 7.5-point betting favorites in this game, and the over/under line is set at 211.5 total points. 

Pelicans Playing Defense

The New Orleans Pelicans have now held two straight opponents to 98 points per less, and that’s not easy to do in today’s NBA. This team wants to set the tone on the defensive end of the floor, and that’s imperative for a team that can’t score well on offense. 

Zion Williamson is currently out of the lineup with an injury for New Orleans and he was leading the way with 22.9 points per game. Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum can take over a game as well, but they miss the interior scoring Williamson provides. 

This Pelicans team has been one of the best road teams in the NBA this season, and that could be something to monitor in this matchup. 

Thunder Following Their Star

Shai-Gilgeous Alexander is likely going to finish in second place in the MVP voting, and he scored over 30 points per game during the regular season. The young shooting guard for the Thunder stepped up in Game 1 and that’s something that he has been doing all season long. 

Chet Holmgren was also sharp in the series opener as he poured in 15 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds in the win. The Thunder will need both stars to step up, but this team also needs to shoot the ball much better. 

Oklahoma City was not a great defensive team during the regular season, but they were able to get enough stops to slow down the Thunder in the series opener. 

Thunder Take Control

The Oklahoma City Thunder are going to have the benefit of playing this game in front of a great home crowd, and that should matter. Oklahoma City struggled to make shots in the series opener, but they should start to have more offensive success in this game. 

New Orleans is a team that is trying to win without their best overall player, and that is never an easy thing to do in the NBA Playoffs. The Pelicans will try to keep this game close with their defense, but at some point this team has to score. 

Bet the Oklahoma City Thunder at -7.5 in this game as they are going to come away with an impressive win to move to 2-0 in the series.

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