New Orleans Pelicans vs Phoenix Suns NBA Pick – Game 1

The NBA is set up with another great slate of basketball on Sunday. Four games are up on the board throughout April 17. One of these games will be between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Phoenix Suns. These two teams will look to kick off their best of seven series with a big win. This game will tip off at around 9:00 PM Eastern time on TNT.

New Orleans earned a record of 36-46 throughout the regular season, which had them earn the ninth seed in the Western Conference. The Pelicans knocked off the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers to grab the eighth seed in the playoffs. New Orleans will look to build off those two big wins. The Pelicans will look to set the tone with a quick start to Game 1.

The Suns finished out the regular season with a record of 64-18, which had them grab the top spot in the Western Conference and NBA. Phoenix is coming off a loss to end the season and lost four of their last six. The Suns will look to step up early in this one after a week off. I expect Phoenix to come out fast at home to start their postseason run.

These two teams will look to step up early in this playoff series. These two teams had opposite records on the season, but both have a clean slate as the playoffs start. The Pelicans have been strong throughout the play-in tournament, but will look for a quick start in this one. If either team can come out fast in this one though, it could be enough for the win.

Game Overview

The following odds are courtesy of Bovada:

Teams Spread Money Line Total
New Orleans Pelicans +10 ½ (-115) +420 Over 225 (-110)
Phoenix Suns -10 ½ (-105) -605 Under 225 (-110)


Team Data New Orleans Pelicans Phoenix Suns
Overall Record 36-46 64-18
Away/ Home Record 17-24 32-9
PPG 109.3 114.8
PPG Away/ Home 107.2 115.5
PAPG 110.3 107.3
PAPG Away/ Home 110.5 106.6

Betting Trends

New Orleans Pelicans

  • 44-40 ATS this season
  • 28-32 ATS as an underdog
  • 21-21 ATS in road games
  • 5-3 ATS in April
  • 6-6 ATS on Sunday’s
  • 11-8 ATS against Pacific division
  • 2-0 ATS in Playoff games
  • 16-16 ATS after allowing 105 points or less
  • 23-20 ATS against team with a winning record

Phoenix Suns

  • 44-37 ATS this season
  • 37-33 ATS as a favorite
  • 19-22 ATS in home games
  • 2-4 ATS in April
  • 19-22 ATS on Sunday’s
  • 2-1 ATS on three or more days rest
  • 9-9 ATS against Southwest division
  • 6-9 ATS after a divisional game
  • 6-5 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite
  • 20-20 ATS against team with a losing record

These two teams met up four times throughout the regular season. Mikal Bridges put up 22 points in the first game as Phoenix earned a 112-100 win. Devin Booker dropped 33 points and 9 rebounds in the second meeting to lead the Suns to a 123-110 win. C.J. McCollum had 32 points in the third matchup as the Pelicans won 117-102. Booker scored 27 points in the fourth game as Phoenix won 131-115.

Field Goal Shooting

The Pelicans have struggled shooting the ball a bit on the season. New Orleans has made 45.7 percent of their shots from the field, which is 23rd in the league. The Pelicans have shot 33.2 percent from behind the arc, which is 27th in the NBA. New Orleans has sunk 78.9 percent of their shots from the charity stripe, which is 10th in the league.

Phoenix has been strong shooting the ball throughout this season. The Suns have been shooting 48.5 percent from the field, which is 1st in the NBA. Phoenix has made 36.4 percent of their shots from deep, which is 9th in the league. The Suns have drained 79.7 percent of their shots from the free throw line, which is 7th in the NBA.

The Suns have the edge shooting the ball this season and have the edge on defense. Phoenix has held their opponents to a 44.4 percent from the field, which is 3rd in the league. New Orleans has allowed opposing teams to shoot 47.1 percent, which is 24th in the NBA this season. These two teams will look for their defenses to step up in this one.

Top Performers

C.J. McCollum and Brandon Ingram have been strong for New Orleans late this season. McCollum is averaging 24.3 points and 5.8 assists per game. Ingram has averaged 22.7 points per game. Jonas Valanciunas is averaging 17.8 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. Devonte’ Graham has averaged 11.9 points per game to round out the lineup.

Devin Booker has been the leader for the Suns throughout the season. Booker has averaged 26.8 points per game. Deandre Ayton is averaging 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Chris Paul has averaged 14.7 points and 10.8 assists per game, while Mikal Bridges is averaging 14.2 points. Cameron Johnson has averaged 12.5 points. Cameron Payne rounds out the lineup, averaging 10.8 points per game.

These two teams have been solid throughout this season and have been led by their stars. The Pelicans are still missing Zion Williamson, which hurts their lineup. Phoenix lost Dario Saric for the season, but have guys stepping up all over the court. If either team can have their stars step up early in this one, it could be enough for the win.

Pick Overview

These two teams will look to start this series strong with a win. The Pelicans are coming off two big wins in the play-in tournament, but Phoenix will look for a strong start after having a week off. The Suns have been dominant all season long and I think they will set the tone early in this series. If Phoenix can come out strong at home, I like their chances to dominate Game 1.

Bovada has the Suns listed as a -10 ½ against the spread in this series. This line gives a big edge to Phoenix at home on Sunday. I think that this line is accurate between these two teams. The Suns are favorites to win the NBA Finals and with their depth, I do not think the Pelicans can keep up. I like the value on Phoenix to cover this spread to open the series strong.

The Bet
Phoenix Suns -10.5
Andruw Burling / Author

Andruw Burling has been writing sports picks since 2017, covering mainly NHL and NBA content, but doing work in other sports as well. Andruw grew up in Las Vegas and has been around sports since a young age. He grew up a huge NHL and NBA fan and continues to use that knowledge in his content today.

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