The Phoenix Suns (49-10) are back in action Friday when they host the New Orleans Pelicans (23-36). Tip-off will be at 9 p.m. ET from Footprint Center. Below, we look at the Pelicans vs. Suns odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
This will be the Pelicans’ first game since the All-Star break as they look to snap their current two-game losing skid. The Pels went into the break having lost four of their last five games after winning four straight from Feb. 1-8.
New Orleans has struggled from the field this season, making just 44.7% of its field goal attempts (25th in the NBA) and shooting 32.8% from deep (27th). The Pelicans are getting outscored 109.5-106.3 on average and will now face the highest-scoring offense in the NBA — although the Suns will be without PG Chris Paul after he injured his thumb.
The Suns crushed the Oklahoma City Thunder 124-104 Thursday as they padded the best record in basketball. Phoenix sits 6.5 games ahead of the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference.
Losing Paul to a thumb injury definitely hurts, but this Suns team is well-equipped to survive his absence thanks to SG Devin Booker, C Deandre Ayton and SF Mikal Bridges. Booker leads the team with 25.5 points per game, and Ayton is averaging a double-double with 16.2 points and 10.2 rebounds.
Pelicans at Suns odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 2:36 p.m. ET.
Money line: Pelicans +205 (bet $100 to win $205) | Suns -260 (bet $260 to win $100)
Against the spread (ATS): Pelicans +6.5 (-120) | Suns -6.5 (-105)
Over/Under (O/U): 229.5 (O: -112 | U: -108)
Pelicans at Suns key injuries
Suns (not officially submitted)
G Chris Paul (thumb) out
G Cameron Payne (wrist) questionable
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Pelicans at Suns odds, lines, picks and predictions
Suns 117, Pelicans 108
This will be the Suns’ second game without Paul and while it’s obviously a blow to the team as a whole, they didn’t show any ill effects from his absence Thursday. They beat the Thunder by 20 points, with Booker, Bridges and PF Cameron Johnson all scoring at least 21 points each.
I like the SUNS (-260) to win this one but I’d much rather bet on them to cover the spread.
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Against the spread
The Suns have been quite good when it comes to covering the spread this season, going 33-26 ATS. They’re only 1-2 ATS in their last three, but if you zoom out a bit more, they’re 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games. The Pelicans are also 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games but they’ve failed to cover in four of their last five, including four games as underdogs.
The Suns are 5-1 ATS in their last six games against the Pelicans, a trend that I think will continue. Take the SUNS -6.5 (-105) to cover.
Not only have the Pelicans struggled on offense this season, but they have the ninth-worst defensive rating, and allow the eighth-highest field goal percentage to opponents.
I see the Suns having an efficient game offensively but the Pelicans won’t carry their weight and will struggle to push this total over the line. Bet the UNDER 229.5 (-108).
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