The winner of tonight’s Oklahoma City at New Orleans matchup in the Western Conference play-in tournament will visit Minnesota on Friday for the chance to earn the West’s No. 8 seed in the playoffs. The season is over for tonight’s loser with the Pelicans as solid favorites on the NBA odds.
Thunder vs. Pelicans Play-In Tournament | 2023 NBA Expert Analysis
How to Bet Oklahoma City at New Orleans NBA Odds & TV Info
When: Wednesday, 9:30 PM ET
Where: Smoothie King Center
NBA Odds: Pelicans -5.5 (total 227)
New Orleans won the regular-season series 3-1 but lost the most recent matchup 110-96 on March 11 at home but was without star Brandon Ingram. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 35 points to lead OKC. Josh Giddey added 19 points and Jalen Williams had 17 for the Thunder, who led most of the way and by as many as 21 in the first half. CJ McCollum scored 26 points for the Pelicans. They committed 22, leading to 23 Thunder points. Gilgeous-Alexander had four steals.
Why Bet on Oklahoma City?
OKC was supposed to be tanking again this season but hugely surprised with a 40-42 record and closed the regular season with a 115-100 home win over Memphis on Sunday, although the Grizzlies rested nearly everyone and the Thunder did too. Tre Mann had 24 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists, the first triple-double of his career. Olivier Sarr added 22 points and 15 rebounds. Ousmane Dieng stuffed the stat sheet with 22 points, eight rebounds and nine assists. None of these guys will play much if at all vs. New Orleans.
Oklahoma City had the youngest roster in the NBA on opening night of the 2022-23 season. The Thunder’s roster featured four rookies, six sophomores, and two players in their third season. OKC secured its 12th 40-win season in the past 15 years, which ranks tied for second during that span behind only the Miami Heat (13).
The All-Star Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 31.4 points (4th in the NBA), 5.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 1.6 steals (4th in the NBA), and just shy of 1.0 block on better than 50 percent shooting. The only other players in NBA history to average better at least over 30 points on 50 percent shooting from the field, four rebounds, four assists, one steal and just shy of one block are Michael Jordan (2x), LeBron James, and Kareem Abdu-lJabbar. SGA scored 30 points in 45 games this season, the most in the league. He led the league in third quarter scoring, averaging a total of 10.2 points in the frame this season. Shai made 669 free throws, leading the league.
Jalen Williams finished his rookie season averaging 14.1 points (5th among rookies), 4.5 rebounds (10th among rookies), 3.3 assists (5th among rookies), and 1.4 steals (1st among rookies). Williams scored 20-plus points in 17 games this season, second most in Thunder history (Russell Westbrook – 18). Post All-Star break, Jalen averaged 18.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.7 steals per contest.
Second-year Josh Giddey averaged 16.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per contest. His shooting percentage jumped from 41.9 to 48.2 from last season to this season. His three-point percentage was up over six percent, from 26.3 to 32.5. Lastly, his free throw percentage increased from 70.9 to 73.1.
Oklahoma City finished tied with Brooklyn, Cleveland, and Indiana for the most 10+ point comeback wins this season with 17. The Thunder ranked tied for fourth for the most 15+ point comeback wins this season with six.
Bet Thunder to Win Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Game
Why Bet on New Orleans?
Zion Williamson is not returning anytime soon for the Pels. Williamson, who has been out since Jan. 2 while recovering from a right hamstring strain, spoke to reporters Tuesday. The former No. 1 overall pick said that he is feeling fine physically and will return to the court “when I feel like Zion,” acknowledging the mental hurdle of rejoining the team as it embarks on a postseason run. Williamson will not play Friday if the Pelicans win here, but maybe at some point in Round 1 vs. Denver if they win again Friday.
Williamson called it a “collective decision” between himself and the team about when he’s able to make his return. Zion played in 29 games this season, missing the final 45 because of the hamstring injury. He averaged 26 points and 7 rebounds while shooting 60.8% from the field and was named an All-Star but didn’t play in the game.
Backup point guard Jose Alvarado remains out at least one more week. Alvarado has been on the shelf since Feb. 27 due to a stress reaction in his right tibia. Prior to going down with that injury, he was a regular part of the Pelicans’ rotation, averaging 9.0 points, 3.0 assists, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.1 steals in 21.5 minutes per night (61 games). Should the Pels win tonight and Friday, Alvarado would likely miss the first two games of a first-round playoff series against the Nuggets.
New Orleans finished the regular season ranked 9th in the NBA in points in the paint per game, averaging 53.4 points. The Pelicans scored 60-plus points in the paint in 26 games and scored 70-plus points in the paint three times.
Center Jonas Valančiūnas was very productive on both ends of the floor this season, as he finished 1-of-11 NBA players to average a point/rebound double-double. Out of those 11 players, Valančiūnas averaged the fewest minutes per game (24.9). Lastly, Valančiūnas became the fifth player in NBA history to average a point/rebound double-double in 25 or less minutes per game. Valančiūnas finished the season tied for 5th in the NBA in second chance points per game, averaging 3.6.
Brandon Ingram was one of four players in the NBA this season to average 24-plus points, 5.0-plus assists and shoot 39.0% or better from three-point range, alongside Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Jalen Brunson. Additionally, was one of four NBA players to be averaging 24-plus points per game, shooting 87.0% or better from the free throw line and is shooting 39.0% or better from behind the arc, alongside Steph Curry, Lauri Markkanen and Kevin Durant.
Bet Pelicans to Win Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Game
- Thunder are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Wednesday games.
- Thunder are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games.
- Thunder are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
- Pelicans are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
- Pelicans are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
- Thunder are 10-4 ATS in the last 14 meetings.
Pelicans 118, Thunder 112
NBA Top 10 Plays Of The Play-In Tournament Series | April 11, 2023
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