The Suns have had a good start to 2019/20, posting a 7-6 record so far. Phoenix still looks like kind of a tough play in the November 21st NBA free betting pick even at home on Thursday as -4 point favorites vs. the Pelicans. The Phoenix offense has taken a dive lately, right when New Orleans seems to be finding theirs. This should be a high scoring game, but can the beat up Suns actually cover the number?
Pelicans a Solid ML Play Thursday (+148)?
New Orleans seems to be putting things together a bit as of late. The Pelicans have a lot of new faces to integrate in Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and JJ Redick to name a few and are missing a big chunk of what was going to be a focal part of their offense has Zion Williamson has yet to debut. After starting the year 1-7, Alvin Gentry’s team has now gone 4-2 over their last 6.
New Orleans has wins over the Clippers and Trail Blazers in the past week and also beat Golden State on Sunday. In the Trail Blazers game the Pelicans welcomed back Brandon Ingram who had missed 4 games prior and he responded with a 21/7/5 line. Jahlil Okafor could also be returning in the November 21st NBA free betting pick as well as he is questionable with an ankle injury after missing the last 4.
The Pelicans look like they don’t play much defense, ranking 24th in the league in overall efficiency. New Orleans has looked much better as of late though, holding 3 straight opponents to 109 or less. That recent success is a big key against the Suns, who are already down a bit on offense with point guard Ricky Rubio (back spasms) expected to miss this game. Phoenix not having their floor leader is also critical as the Pelicans push the ball with the 4th highest pace in the league.
Suns Too Banged Up to Cover the -4?
Phoenix will be without Rubio and Aron Baynes (hip flexor) is also going to sit vs. New Orleans with a hip flexor. Those Suns’ players missing the game is certain but it’s the ones in limbo that makes Phoenix a strange -4 favorite on Thursday. Frank Kaminsky (hip), Dario Saric (knee), and Cam Johnson (knee) are all probable to play, but how effectively with so many ailments is the real question.
Another reason to question a possible Suns wager here is for the fact that they haven’t been playing that well lately even when at full strength. Phoenix is 2-4 over their last 6, allowing at least 112 points in 5 of those games and 120+ in half of those tilts. Overall the Suns are 12th in defensive efficiency, but they’ve been struggling possibly due to all the injuries.
It does seem a bit off that Phoenix is a -4 favorite here with Rubio out, even though they are at home. New Orleans runs a fast pace, but this tilt looks like it could be becoming very similar to Phoenix’ results against two other teams with a similar style: a 128-112 win over Atlanta last Thursday and a 138-112 win over Brooklyn on November 10th. Devin Booker averaged 28 points and 8 rebounds in those games against two of the top 10 pace teams in the league – but Rubio was also in the lineup for both.
November 21st NBA Free Betting Pick
The total simply looks too low in this one. The Pelicans +the points seems like an easy play but the line is fishy with the Suns favored even with all their injuries. Booker, Oubre, and Co. have the offensive talent to stick with New Orleans in this one though – as well as continually push that total higher in a very fast paced game.
Pick: Pelicans / Suns *Over*233.5