The New Orleans Pelicans will return home tonight to face the Phoenix Suns with their first-round playoff series tied at one game apiece.
The Pelicans got a brilliant performance from Brandon Ingram in game two, as the Pels stunned the Suns on the road to tie the series.
Devin Booker is likely out for games three and four, but the Suns aren’t going to lay down and the Pelicans will have to adjust to a team that CJ McCollum called “a wounded and dangerous animal.”
You hate to see injuries in the playoffs, but the Suns have guys who will be ready to step up.
The Pelicans will need to put the clamps on Mikal Bridges, who is more than capable of filling Booker’s shoes on the offensive end if New Orleans lets him get going.
They will also have to control the bigs by playing more drop coverage and not giving Chris Paul easy lob attempts.
The Pelicans have a tall task with or without Booker in the game and will have to continue to get contributions from their role players to win at home against the Suns.
Even without Booker, the Phoenix Suns are still favored, so can New Orleans pull off another upset against the NBA’s best team?
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Phoenix Suns: Odds, spread, over/under and best bets
According to WynnBET, the Pelicans are two point underdogs at home tonight against the Suns. The Suns were double-digit favorites in the first two games, so the books are clearly reacting to the Pels’ win, as well as Booker’s injury.
When you factor in the points usually allotted for home court advantage, the books are saying this one is about even.
The money lines are set at +105 for New Orleans and -125 for the Suns. Two points are not enough to worry about, so I like the Pels’ money line in this one to get the better odds.
The over/under is a combined 216 points and for the first time this series, I am taking the over. These two teams combined for 239 points in the last game, and though I expect a lower score this time, I still think this will be more in the 120-110 range.
Brandon Ingram is your obvious choice in daily fantasy, but CJ McCollum is starting to heat up and seems to be on the verge of a monster game. With Booker out, Ingram should have an easier defensive assignment, especially when Jose Alvarado is in the game, as he will allow Herbert Jones to slide over on Mikal Bridges, leaving Ingram wit Jae Crowder.
The Pelicans’ bench is tough to call, as they aren’t going to get big minutes with the starters carrying most of the burden. Jose Alvarado should get extended run as the Pelicans try to slow down Chris Paul, so he and Larry Nance Jr. are probably your best low-cost plays.
How to watch Pelicans vs. Suns Game 3
The game will tip-off at 8:30 PM CT and the sold-out Smoothie King Center will be rocking. You can watch on Bally Sports New Orleans, ESPN or listen on ESPN 100.3 FM.