World
close

View Sportsbooks, Odds and Promotions available in your state.

backgroundLayer 1
BETTING

Pelicans vs. Thunder Game 1 Computer Pick: New Orleans Will Hang Tight

New Orleans Pelicans computer picks Jose alvarado
Jose Alvarado #15 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts after a shot against the Sacramento Kings at Smoothie King Center on April 19, 2024. Chris Graythen/Getty Images/AFP

The top sportsbooks have released their NBA odds for Game 1 between the Pelicans and Thunder. For your NBA picks, I’ll recommend investing in New Orleans.

My recommendation is backed by OddsTrader’s Computer AI and by my handicapping.

NBA Computer Pick: Pelicans +8.5 (-110) at Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)


New Orleans Pelicans vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Sunday, April 21, 2024 – 09:30 PM ET at Paycom Center


Our computers indicate that this will be a close game. I expect the Pelicans to hang tight and cover the spread.

Rust Factor

The play-in teams have a measurable advantage in Game 1. New Orleans got to play on Friday.

Conversely, the Thunder haven’t played since the last game of their regular season.

We saw what this disparity in rest time can do in the first quarter between the 76ers and Knicks when Philadelphia stormed out to an early lead. Key Knick players also did not shoot as well.

The Thunder could be similarly impacted.

Transition Offense

But even if the Thunder aren’t rusty, their offense is not primed for playoff basketball. In the playoffs, games slow down. Transition basketball matters less, and half-court offense matters more.

This is a problem for the Thunder more than it is for any other team because in the regular season they ran plays in transition with the highest frequency.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

In the half-court, the Thunder will rely especially on their star point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to initiate offense. However, he hates playing the Pelicans more than any other team.

In the regular season, his field goal efficiency was the lowest against them.

Led by Herb Jones, New Orleans has the length and overall quality in its on-ball defenders to limit the player who easily led the Thunder in scoring.

New Orleans’ Offensive Advantage

The Pelicans won’t have Zion Willaimson, but they will have valuable shooters.

They will make up for Zion’s absence by launching a barrage of three-pointers.

NBA Computer Pick

New Orleans is the NBA’s fourth-most efficient three-point shooting team, so it has the means with which to thrive from deep.

Look out, especially for CJ McCollum and Trey Murphy, both high-volume and efficient shooters.

Oklahoma City, which ranks 24th at limiting opposing three-point makes, is just the team they want to face.

NBA Computer Pick: Pelicans +8.5 (-110) at Bet365

*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

Recent Articles

Caesars
Ease of Use
5.0

Simplicity and intuitiveness of the platform's design

Welcome Bonuses
4.5

Offers available upon initial signup

App Store Rating
4.5

User ratings on the Apple App Store

Play Store Rating
4.0

User ratings on the Google Play Store

Odds Quality
4.0

How the sportsbook's odds stack up against competitors

BetWay Sportsbook logo
Ease of Use
5.0

Simplicity and intuitiveness of the platform's design

Welcome Bonuses
4.6

Offers available upon initial signup

App Store Rating
4.4

User ratings on the Apple App Store

Odds Quality
4.3

How the sportsbook's odds stack up against competitors

Odds Quality
4.3

How the sportsbook's odds stack up against competitors

Bet365
Odds Quality
4.7

How the sportsbook's odds stack up against competitors

Play Store Rating
4.7

User ratings on the Google Play Store

Ease of Use
4.5

Simplicity and intuitiveness of the platform's design

Welcome Bonuses
4.3

Offers available upon initial signup

App Store Rating
4.1

User ratings on the Apple App Store

Join the
OddsTrader Newsletter
Table of Contents
oddstraderLogo
Follow us on

© OddsTrader 2024 All Rights Reserved

21+ Seek help with a gambling addiction at 1-800-Gambler. OddsTrader is licensed to operate in NJ, NY, PA, IN, CO, IA, IL, VA, WV, TN, CT, MI, AZ, LA, WY, OR, KS, DC, MA & OH.