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Thunder vs. Pelicans Prediction: Will OKC Complete the Sweep?

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published April 29, 2024
12 min read

The Oklahoma City Thunder will have the chance to sweep the New Orleans Pelicans out of the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs when they meet in the Bayou on Monday evening.

OKC won Games Two and Three by more than 20 points after narrowly avoiding an upset in the opening gambit. The team has a chance to earn a sizable rest advantage as the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks will play a minimum of six games, whereas they could wrap their series up before the night is over.

The Pelicans seem unprepared to unlock the Thunder defense and haven’t been able to bring the same defensive fervor they played with during the regular season into the playoffs. Zion Williamson is still yet to play because of an injury, while Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum are having a totally forgettable series.

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite pick for Game Four of the Thunder vs. Pelicans series.

Thunder vs. Pelicans Prediction 2024 04 29

Thunder vs. Pelicans Betting Odds for Monday, April 29

The Thunder are 48-36-1 (57.1 percent) against the spread but only 13-14 (48.2 percent) ATS as a road favorite. They covered in Games Two and Three and in six of their last seven overall.

The Pelicans are 46-40-1 (53.5 percent) ATS and 6-6 (50 percent) ATS as a home underdog. They covered in two of their last five and in two of six regular- and postseason meetings with the Thunder.

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Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Oklahoma City Thunder -4.5 (-115) -190 Over 205.5 (-105)
New Orleans Pelicans +4.5 (-105) +155 Under 205.5 (-115)

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Thunder vs. Pelicans Prediction

Oklahoma City Thunder Preview

The Thunder’s relentless drive-and-kick style has proven to be too much for a Pelicans team down its best player.

With a playoff-leading amount of field goals off of rack-attacks and fastbreak points coupled with the second-best three-point percentage in the playoffs (42.3 percent), the Thunder have a near-unguardable offense—at least for New Orleans.

The team also accepted the challenge on the defensive end and played with tremendous intensity balanced with great recognition. The result is a playoff-leading 40.3 percent shooting allowed against a Pelicans team that ranked ninth (48.6 percent) during the regular season.

The Thunder have no problems changing their lineup to fit their needs at the time. Aaron Wiggins, Jaylin Williams, Isaiah Joe, and Cason Wallace have all taken turns sliding alongside the starters and producing impressive stretches of play, allowing them to spell their top guys.

The leading trio of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams, and Chet Holmgren also played a great series thus far. As a result, OKC ranks seventh in offensive rating, first in defensive rating, and first in net rating (+18.6).

OKC showed no signs of slowing down in its first road game of the playoffs a few days ago, beating the Pels by 21 on their home court. They also had the ninth-best road net rating during the regular season (+1.9) and are used to winning away from home.

New Orleans Pelicans Preview

New Orleans had a great run during the regular season and probably should have been a higher seed than they were, but several missed opportunities led to them facing the top seed in the conference in the first round. 

No team in NBA playoff history came back from a 3-0 deficit, and there’s no reason to believe the Pelicans will make history with the way they played.

Ingram and McCollum both faced tremendous pressure to carry their team without Williamson in the lineup. Although both are considered quality players and can easily score more than 20 points per game, neither has been anywhere near the level they should be or need to be for their team to win a single game, much less the series.

McCollum leads the team in playoff scoring at just 17 points per night on 37.9 percent shooting to go with 5.7 assists. Ingram, meanwhile, averaged 16.3 points and 4.7 rebounds on 41.5 percent shooting and was benched in the fourth quarter of Game One. 

New Orleans was one of the most balanced teams in basketball during the regular season but is almost unrecognizable in this series. Unless they fall back on the defensive principles that made them successful and can regain their three-point shooting, they’ll likely become the first team to be eliminated from the playoffs.

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Thunder vs. Pelicans Betting Pick

 It would be an unfortunate ending to what was an impressive year for the Pelicans prior to the last week and change, but there’s nothing on tape that suggests they should win a game in this series.

OKC’s airtight defense, shotmaking ability, depth, and versatility have all proven to be better than what the Pelicans have to offer. New Orleans is at home, but they also went just 21-19 in their building—the worst of any playoff team in either conference.

Take the Thunder to close this series out in four games with a convincing win.

How to Watch Thunder vs. Pelicans

  • When: Monday, April 29 @ 8:00/10:00 p.m. MT/ET

  • Where: Ball Arena, Denver, CO

  • TV: TNT


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Grant Mitchell

528 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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