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The best bets and resources to make you more profitable
|Game Date & Time||Thu Apr 27th, 7:30 p.m. ET|
What a surprisingly fun series this is turning out to be. The Suns, as the 1 seed, took a 3-2 series lead after winning game 5 at home. Now, for game 6 we head back to New Orleans, with the game being played on Thursday, April 27th at 7:30 p.m. ET.
With the Pelicans now the home team and having shown legitimate fight in this series, the Suns are only slight favorites here. The spread is Suns -1.5, with the over/under at 213.5.
The Devin Booker injury obviously has something to do with this, but nobody expected the Suns to be tested like this in the 1st round in the playoffs.
This series has ping-ponged back and forth, with the Suns winning every other game, starting in game 1. So, if this trend continues, the Pelicans are going to win this game 6 and force a game 7. Of course, as I have noted in previous articles, that’s not exactly how sports work.
After really struggling in game 4, Chris Paul bounced back in a big way in game 5, leading the Suns to the 15 point victory. Despite a poor shooting night from deep, missing all 4 of his 3-point attempts, he finished the game with 22 points, 11 assists, and 6 rebounds. It was a much needed bounce back game from the PointGod.
Of course, he was still hounded by Jose Alvarado into another 8 second backcourt violation, but overall it was a good game from CP3.
The Suns had a monster showing from Mikal Bridges, though. He finished the game with 31 points, going 4-4 from deep. As good as Chris Paul was, the Suns are going to continue to need role players such as Bridges to step up if they want to put away the Pelicans, and advance farther into the playoffs.
On the Pelicans side, the sloppy effort on offense was the main culprit of the 15 point loss. Brandon Ingram had 5 turnovers alone, and the Pelicans as a team had 15. It is going to be hard to beat the Suns with your best scorer turning over the ball that much.
The Pelicans played the Suns tough in both their games at home this series in games 3 and 4, so there’s no reason to believe they won’t be able to do the same in game 6.
If they are able to force a game 7, they will need Ingram and other scoring dynamo CJ McCollum to shoot better than they did in game 5. They finished a combined 2-13 from deep, and 14-41 overall.
They both scored over 20 points, so it wasn’t like they were horrible or anything like that, but in order to beat a team as good as the Suns they are going to need to be better than just average.
I do expect them both to play well, and I also expect the Pelicans defensive superstars in the aforementioned Alvarado and Herbert Jones to have good games.
So, for that reason, I like the Pelicans to cover here. I do think they win straight up, but I feel more comfortable taking the spread than I do the moneyline. I got the Pelicans +2.5 on PointsBet.
I really went back and forth whether I wanted to take the Pelicans moneyline, but the reason why I settled on the spread is because the value. The OddsJam line, as shown in the table at the top, prices this spread at +1.5. So, getting it at a full point higher at -115 odds represents great value.
Pelicans +2.5 | -115 at PointsBet Sportsbook.
My prediction for this game is that the Pelicans win 107-106.
|Pelicans/Suns Game Total||215.5|
|Game Date & Time||Tue Apr 26th, 10 p.m. ET|
In what is probably the biggest surprise of the first round (except maybe the Celtics being up 3-0,) the Suns and Pelicans are tied 2-2 after 4 games. Game 5 is back in Phoenix, on Tuesday, April 26th at 10 p.m. ET.
Even after getting drubbed in game 4 and still without Devin Booker, the Suns are still the favorite in game 5. They are currently 7 point favorites, with the over/under at 215.5.
After a pretty historic regular season in which the Suns lapped the rest of the league, they are in a legitimate fight against the Pelicans. Despite only finishing with 36 wins in the regular season, these Pelicans are no joke.
They have everything needed to build a solid basketball team. Most importantly, they have two legit scorers in Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum. Ingram specifically has been on fire this series. He has put up 30 or more points in 3 straight games this series, and if you back out to the play-in game against the Clippers he’s scored over 30+ in 4 of 5.
Along with scoring, they have defensive versatility led by rookie studs Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado. Jones had 3 blocks in game 4, and was in general just everywhere on the court. He is long with good defensive instincts, and I would not be surprised if there are multiple defensive player of the year awards in his future.
Alvarado, of course, had two steals in game 4, highlighted by his backcourt steal of Chris Paul that he has become known for.
Even as good as the Suns were in the regular season, they have a legitimate chance to lose this series if they don’t step up.
Chris Paul has generally been good this series, but he was horrendous in game 4. He had only 4 points and 3 turnovers in 35 minutes of play. He also didn’t make a single 3-pointer. This goes without saying, but with Booker out the Suns have no chance if CP3 doesn’t play like an all-star.
He seemed to be affected by Pelicans defensive length and aggression and was also targeted by the Pelicans when he was playing defense. Paul has long been a good defender, but at his old age he doesn’t defend in space as well as he used to.
The Pelicans smartly put Paul in pick-and-rolls that made him do just that, and they were able to take advantage. Paul was a minus 14 in game 4 on Sunday.
If there is one piece of encouragement for the Suns, though, it is how good big man Deandre Ayton has looked. He had 23 points in game 4, and this was after a 28 point performance in game 3.
When looking to bet game 5, it’s hard to imagine Paul is going to be as bad as he was in game 4. The Suns are now in front of their home crowd as well, which should provide a spark.
So, I ended up locking in the Suns -6.5 on FanDuel.
There is some value there, with the OddsJam Line pricing this spread at 7. Even still without Booker, I have faith in the coaching and talent of this Suns team to be able to win and cover this game 5.
Suns -6.5 | -108 at FanDuel Sportsbook.
I’ll take the Suns to win 118-110.
|Game Date & Time||Sunday, April 24 9:30 p.m. ET|
Where do we even begin on the Suns-Pelicans series so far? The loss of Devin Booker? The reminder from CP3 to NBA fans worldwide that “PointGod” is an accurate nickname? The under .500 Pelicans proving that they’re far more than their record, despite trailing in the series going into Game 4?
There’s a lot happening in this series, and it has been, for my money, the most entertaining series of the NBA playoffs thus far. Going into Game 4, there has been a lot to love and a lot of questions for where both of these teams could go in the series and the playoffs.
Game 3 was an absolutely neck-and-neck battle, and came down to the wire. The Suns’ 114-111 win once again came down to CP3 taking over the game late and scoring 19 points in the fourth quarter. Over the past two games, he’s put up an absurd 28 assists with 0 turnovers. And even with that type of performance, the Suns have gone 1-1 in those two games and just barely edged it out against the Pelicans. The loss of Booker can’t be understated — between his shared responsibility with CP3 as the primary ball handler, Deandre Ayton’s primary pick-and-roll partner, and the offensive engine that drives the Suns, they’ve lost a lot with his likely inability to play again in this series.
They’ve shown in their two play-in games and the playoffs that their record isn’t indicative of their talent level. Brandon Ingram in particular has shown himself every bit the star that Lakers and Pelicans execs knew he could be; he’s averaging 29.7 points thus far in the playoffs.
After two straight games with more than 30 points, I’ll be taking Brandon Ingram over 26.5, currently available for -110 at DraftKings. If the Pelicans want to stay alive in this series, his scoring needs to keep up, and I believe he’ll continue to rise to the occasion.
So far, Game 3 seems to be the most indicative of the teams that we’ll see for the remainder of this series — assuming everyone stays healthy down the stretch. With Booker out and CP3 playing increased minutes, I don’t necessarily think CP3’s impeccable assist-to-turnover ratio will hold up here in Game 4, particularly as they’re still on the road in New Orleans.
Game 3 came down to the wire in favor of the Suns, and I predict that Game 4 will have a similar late-game feel. With that in mind, I’ll be taking the Pelicans +3.5, currently available at -120 with Unibet. Although I do think the Pelicans will win the game, we’ll at least look for them to cover at +3.5 in case of more late-game heroics from CP3.
Brandon Ingram Over 26.5 Points | -110 at DraftKings
Pelicans +3.5 | -120 at Unibet
I’m taking the Pelicans to win 118-115.
|New Orleans Pelicans Moneyline||+110|
|Phoenix Suns Moneyline||-122|
|New Orleans Pelicans Spread||+2|
|Phoenix Suns Spread||-2|
|Pelicans/Suns Game Total||216|
|Game Date & Time||Fri Apr 22nd, 9:30PM ET|
The Pelicans got the huge upset in game 2, beating the Suns and now head back home to New Orleans with the Series tied 1-1. This game is being played on Friday, April 22nd at 9:30PM ET.
This is another playoff series in which injuries will play a major roll, unfortunately. I’ll detail all that below, but for now, even with Booker presumably out and being the away team, the Suns are still slight favorites here. The spread is Suns -2, with the total at 216 as well.
Between Luka not playing yet, Scottie Barnes getting injured in game 1, and now both Khris Middleton and Devin Booker getting hurt in their respective game 2’s, this is another year in which injuries are playing a major roll in the playoffs.
The Booker injury is unfortunate, obviously. He tweaked his hamstring, and right now his timeline to return is unclear. As of right now, the only reports are that he’s unlikely to play in games 3 or 4 in New Orleans.
That is obviously a massive advantage for the Pelicans. The only saving grace for the Suns is that there has been two separate stretches in the regular season in which Booker missed time. One for a hamstring injury (sound familiar?), and another for health and safety protocols.
So, at least the Suns have a plan in place for Booker being out of the lineup. But, as Mike Tyson famously coined, everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. And I would consider the Pelicans showing in game 2 a punch in the face.
This Pelicans team, even with the 36-46 record and 8 seed in the playoffs, will be no easy out. Head coach Willie Green seems to be coming into his own, and they have a bunch of tough players, of course led by Brandon Igram.
Ingram, by the way, who was awesome in game 2. He scored 37 points, with 11 assists and 9 rebounds along with that. He was a game high +18 in terms of plus/minus.
My feelings towards game 3 are similar to game 3 in the Bucks/Bulls game, which is essentially a shrug emoji. Even without Booker I think the Suns are firmly the better team, but I also love the Pelicans toughness and roster versatility. This will definitely be a close game either way in my opinion.
While I do think the Suns still win, I’m not confident enough to make that my official play. Instead, what I really like is this game going under 217.5 points, which I locked in on BetMGM.
Getting the under where I did on BetMGM is a huge value. Every other book, including the OddsJam line, prices this total closer to 216 or 216.5. I bet this under at -110 odds, while the OddsJam Line has the under 217.5 priced at -126 odds.
My official NBA betting pick for this game is to take the under. I got it at under 217.5 at -110 odds on BetMGM Sportsbook.
My prediction for this game is that the Suns win 101-99.
|Phoenix Suns Moneyline||-455|
|New Orleans Pelicans Moneyline||+372|
|Phoenix Suns Spread||-9.5|
|New Orleans Pelicans Spread||+9.5|
|Suns/Pelicans Game Total||221.5|
|Game Date & Time||Tue Apr 19th, 10PM ET|
Even though the Pelicans put up a valiant effort towards the end, it came as no surprise that the Suns won & covered the spread in game 1. Game 2 continues in Phoenix on Tuesday, April 19th at 10PM ET.
The Suns are once again pretty heavily favored here, with the point spread at Suns -9.5 and the over/under at 221.5.
The Suns are so good that they can merely look fine in game 1 against the Pelicans and still win by 11. It helps when you have the Point God in Chris Paul on your team to score a zillion straight in the 4th quarter.
The Suns are the most balanced team in the NBA for a reason. They are great on offense, great on defense, and can be you in a variety of ways with a variety of players. They are just a beautiful basketball team.
Aside from Pauls heroics, they got 25 points from Devin Booker and 21 points from Deandre Ayton to round out their balanced attack.
The Pelicans fought hard until the end, and made it respectable with a 2nd half run, but this game was never really in doubt. I do think this spread is aptly priced a Suns -9.5, but I still like for them to cover here.
While Ayton certain isn’t Jokic with his passing chops, he has still hit this prop in 3 straight games, which includes game 1 against the Pelicans.
FanDuel prices this spread at +130, whereas every other book, including the OddsJam Perfect Line, prices this down at +110. That gives this bet Positive Expected Value, which is why I love it.
My official NBA betting picks is to take the Suns spread at -9.5. I bet this at -110 odds on Caesars Sportsbook.
My player prop for this game is to take Deandre Ayton over 1.5 assists. I bet this at +130 odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.
My prediction is that the Suns win this game 109-96.
|Phoenix Suns Moneyline||-606|
|New Orleans Pelicans Moneyline||+475|
|Phoenix Suns Spread||-11|
|New Orleans Pelicans Spread||+11|
|Suns/Pelicans Game Total||224|
|Game Date & Time||Sun Apr 17th, 1PM ET|
You will see the full series preview and analysis below, so I’ll keep the game preview itself relatively short. I’ll provide my official prediction, one player prop bet, and be on my way.
Not beating around the bush here, I’m taking the Game 1 Spread: Suns -10 at -110 with DraftKings. The Pelicans are coming off of two highly competitive play-in games while the Suns are rested, and the Suns just have far more firepower.
In their regular season match-ups, the Suns went 3-1 against the Pelicans and their average margin of victory was 13.7 points. Beyond that, Chris Paul-led teams are 14-7 in Game 1s across his career, and he’s 3-0 in Game 1s as a member of the Suns.
The reality is that the Suns are such prohibitive favorites to win the series that there isn’t a ton of value in betting the moneyline for game 1.
There is, however, value in taking Chris Paul under 11.5 assists (-130) with DraftKings. Historically, his assist rate drops a bit in the postseason(9.5 regular season, 8.3 post-season) as opposing teams try to minimize his time with the ball, and I expect Booker to take on some ball-handling duties to contend with the length of the Pelicans.
My official NBA betting pick in this game is to take the Suns -10. I got this at -110 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
I also like getting Chris Paul under 11.5 assists. I bet this at -130 odds on DraftKings Sportsbook.
My prediction for this game is that the Suns will beat the Pelicans, 121-109.
|Phoenix Suns Series Odds||-2500|
|New Orleans Pelicans Series Odds||+1100|
|Phoenix Suns Game Spread||-2.5|
|New Orleans Pelicans Game Spread||+2.5|
|Projected Game Total: 5 Games||+190|
Now that the final play-in games are officially in the books, we know who the 1st seed Phoenix Suns will be taking on in their first round matchup. Step right up, New Orleans Pelicans, and come collect your likely beatdown.
To the surprise of no one, the Suns are favored in this match-up, as they’ll be fielding their best team since the Steve Nash ‘7 Seconds or Less’ era. At 64-18, and carrying the best Net Rating in the league(4th in offense, 3rd in defense), these Suns are going to be the team to beat in the West.
Following their clinching of the overall 1 seed on March 24th, the Suns took their foot off the gas a bit, dropping winnable games to the Clippers, Thunder, and Kings in the final weeks of the season, in addition to a competitive loss to the 2-seed Grizzlies.
But don’t let those late season struggles fool you – this team should be firing on all cylinders, and has a ton of offensive and defensive firepower healthy & ready for the playoffs.
Led by the trio of Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton, and CP3, and bolstered by the emergence of iron-man Mikal Bridges and career years from Cam Payne and Cam Johnson, there aren’t many areas of weakness for this Suns team.
They’re one of the most efficient & highest scoring teams in the league, and they have very few weaknesses on defense(particularly with Bridges’ versatility, and the veteran bench combination of Jae Crowder & Javale McGee) for teams to exploit.
The final piece of the puzzle for the Suns is 2022 NBA Coach of the Year Monty Williams(his second year in a row winning this award). While his tenure in the early 2010’s as the Hornets/Pelicans coach was less than spectacular(173-221 overall), he’s been nothing short of spectacular with the Suns.
He has taken a team that had won less than 25 games a season for 4 straight years into a 34-39 season, a 51-21 season, and now a league-leading 64-18 season, for a combined record of 149 – 78.
In just the past three years, he’s entered himself in the conversation with Pop, Spo, and Kerr as one of the league’s best coaches, and he should expect to hold the coaching advantage over a Pelican’s team led by first year head coach Willie Green that limped into the playoffs at 36-46 this year.
The reality for the Pelicans is that they’re outmatched, outgunned, and will be out-coached in this match-up. After a notoriously awful start of 1-12(that led to numerous pundits noting that they were on pace to be the worst team in NBA history), the Pelicans battled back, despite not having franchise centerpiece Zion Williamson at all this season.
With some timely trade deadline moves(particularly the acquisition of CJ McCollum from the Trailblazers), the Pelicans found their groove, and they have a legitimately talented roster that seems to have taken a lot of pride in their defense post-All Star Break.
But, with that said, it’s too much too soon for this team, and a first round match-up with the overall 1 seed isn’t going to have a positive result for them.
While I’d love to say this is going to be a particularly competitive series, the Suns are about as healthy as a contender can be, have home court, and have the perfect combination of young talent, veteran leadership, and a talented coach. The Pelicans, meanwhile, are missing their potential franchise superstar, are coming off of two high intensity play-in games, and are, simply put, not on the same level yet.
I’m expecting this Sun’s team to make it back to the Finals this year, and they should be able to take care of the New Orleans Pelicans in 4 games.
This can be bet on DraftKings Sportsbook at +200 odds, which is where I got it at.
My official NBA pick for this series is to take the Suns to win 4-0. I bet this at +200 odds on DraftKings Sportsbook.
My prediction for this series is that the Suns will sweep the Pelicans.