New Orleans Pelicans vs Phoenix Suns betting tips and predictions for Friday’s NBA Western Conference Playoff game on ESPN. The Phoenix Suns find themselves in a similar situation as the Milwaukee Bucks in the East, as they hit the road for Game 3 vs the New Orleans Pelicans with the series tied at 1-1. Read on for all our free predictions and betting tips.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans made the most out of the Devin Booker injury in Game 2 as they rallied past the #1 seeded Suns and now we have ourselves a series. Not a lot of people gave the Pelicans much a of chance here, but now their appetite is a lot bigger after that impressive win in Game 2. Brandon Ingram carried the offence with 37 points, while C.J. McCollum added 23 of his, including 6 threes made. They can’t afford to take their foot off the gas pedal tonight though as they are facing a team that’s won 30 more regular season games than they did.
The Pelicans’ hopes of winning lie in the fact that they are 8-4 SU in their last 12 games against Western Conference opponents and vs the Suns they’ve won 2 of the last 3 meetings if we include the regular season.
Devin Booker had it going in Game 2 as he dropped 31 points in just 25 minutes of play, but then he injured his hamstring which could force him to miss the next 2-3 weeks of action. That would normally be devastating news for any team, but not the Suns who have managed without key players on multiple occasions during the regular season. There is no team in the NBA as deep as the Suns are, so I’m expecting others to step up tonight.
Their leader Chris Paul had 17 points and 14 assists in Game 2, that number should go up to at least 25 points tonight while keeping the same energy distributing the ball. Players like Cam Johnson, Cam Payne, Jae Crowder and Deandre Ayton are all expected to contribute as that’s the only way Phoenix can overcome losing their 27 point per game scorer in Booker. This team is 16-4 SU in their last 20 games vs Southwest Division teams, they’ve also won 11 of 16 vs West teams.
Even if the Suns are without Booker, they are still slight favourites entering tonight’s game which tells you just how good this team is. They can hurt you in so many ways, I just think the Pelicans aren’t on their level and we’ll see that tonight. Back the road team to get back home court advantage.
New Orleans Pelicans vs Phoenix Suns Predictions & Odds
Giving up 125 points is not something you see often from these Suns. In fact, that is the highest point total they’ve given up against the Pelicans since the 2019-20 season which tells you just how badly they performed in Game 2 on defence. I expect head coach Monty Williams to make adjustments on that end of the floor, after all this is the 3rd best defensive efficiency team from the regular season. Their last 6 of 7 games have all finished under the total and their defence was a direct result of that.
On the road they are 1-4 on the O/U in their last 5 games and against a team that’s gone under in 12 of their last 17 games, I think there’s a really good chance we see a low scoring game. Tempo wise, the Pelicans rank just 21st in the NBA averaging 99.7 possessions per game, that’s been pretty evident in their games this season as they finished with a 35-51 record on the O/U. At the Smoothie King Center they’ve gone under in 4 of their last 5, so I think the smart bet is to go with the under once again.