When the New Orleans Pelicans and Phoenix Suns meet in Game 3 of their best-of-seven first-round Western Conference playoff series on Friday night at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, the teams will try to take control of the series after splitting Games 1 and 2.
In Game 1, the Pelicans were blown out 110-99 by the Suns, but in Game 2, the Pelicans shocked the Suns with a nine-point victory on the road.
The Pels will be looking to take control of the series at home, while the Suns will look to regroup after an injury scare to one of their best players. Let’s take a look at how these teams match up for Game 3 so you can place your bets against their NBA Playoffs Odds.
NBA Playoffs Western Conference Game Three – Phoenix Suns at New Orleans
New Orleans Pelicans Betting Preview: Pelicans Steal Road Contest in Game Two
Brandon Ingram, who was on the verge of scoring his first career triple-double, was instrumental in the Pelicans‘ road victory. After shooting 13-of-21 from the field, Ingram finished the game with 37 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists, just shy of a triple-double.
C.J. McCollum also finished just short of a triple-double, finishing with 23 points, nine assists, eight rebounds, and six 3-pointers. New Orleans’ offense was electric, making 17 three-pointers while shooting nearly 55% from beyond the arc.
One bright spot for New Orleans is that they remain competitive late in games and never give up battling. Despite losing the first game, they were able to cut a 23-point deficit to 79-71 by the third quarter. In Game 2, New Orleans took a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter and sealed the victory with a 28-16 run that spanned the final 7:30 of the game.
Phoenix Suns Betting Preview: Suns Could Be Without Devin Booker
On Tuesday night, the Phoenix Suns lost their best player, and it could cost them more than just Game 2. The Suns lead New Orleans, 61-56 in the first half, thanks to Devin Booker’s 31 points. In the third quarter, Booker suffered a right hamstring injury and was replaced by Landry Shamet.
It’s unclear how serious his injury is or how long he’ll be sidelined. Booker was sidelined for seven games during the regular season due to a hamstring injury to his opposite leg.
Despite the heroics from Booker early on, the Suns couldn’t fend off the Pelicans’ offense. That being said, on the defensive side of the ball, Phoenix has played terribly, specifically in terms of rebounding.
Through the first two games of this series, the Pelicans have outrebounded the Suns 98-68. Something needs to change for the Suns in terms of rebounding heading into Game 3 since the Pelicans have been receiving far too many second-chance opportunities.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Suns will have to look for more scoring opportunities if Devin Booker is unable to go. With Chris Paul being the facilitator, look for possibly Cameron Johnson to step in, who has averaged 12.5 points this season, including shooting 46% from three.
Betting Odds and Lines
MyBookie has the Phoenix Suns listed as the -1 -1point road favorites in this matchup, while the total number of points is at 216.5 in the latest odds.
Free Betting Pick
The Pelicans are in a great spot heading into their Friday matchup with the Phoenix Suns. The Pelicans finally started to click on offense and are utilizing their size advantage and are outrebounding the Suns, which turned into a 125-point performance in Game 2.
In addition to having a home-court advantage in Game 3, they could also begin playing against a Devin Booker-less Suns’ squad.
The Suns will have their back up against the wall in this contest, but they were playing short-handed almost all year, with Chris Paul missing significant time toward the end of the season.
The problem is Devin Booker is one of their best players, and Phoenix’s offense will be greatly hindered if he can’t go.
For that reason, I’m backing New Orleans in this one to steal Game 3.
Betting Pick: Pelicans ML +100
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