Thunder-Pelicans Betting Preview: Turmoil in New Orleans Creating Line Value?

Thunder-Pelicans Betting Preview: Turmoil in New Orleans Creating Line Value? article feature image

Photo credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Anthony Davis

Betting Odds: Oklahoma City Thunder at New Orleans Pelicans

  • Spread: Thunder -5
  • Over/Under: 236
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: TNT

>> All odds as of 1:15 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets

The Pelicans are coming off one of their worst games of the year at home against the Magic. Can they turn it around tonight or are things too bad in the locker room? Our analysts discuss.

Betting Trends to Know

Russell Westbrook has recorded a triple-double in 10 consecutive games, the longest such streak in NBA history. During that streak, Westbrook and the Thunder enter this game 9-1 straight up (SU) and 8-2 against the spread (ATS), covering by 4.2 points per game. — Evan Abrams

How much or when Anthony Davis plays has been anyone’s guess since the NBA trade deadline. If Davis sits in the fourth quarter again, or sits for any extended period, it is important to remember his impact on the floor and the opportunity he creates on a nightly basis for the Pels …

Pelicans in 2018-19 with Davis on/off the floor:

  • Davis on: 1,602 minutes, +3.9 Net Rating, 15.6 second-chance points, 25.8% ORB%
  • Davis off: 1,182 minutes, -5.0 Net Rating, 13.0 second-chance points, 22.3% ORB% — Abrams

The Thunder opened as 4-point favorites, and the line has moved to OKC -5. As home underdogs the past five seasons, the Pelicans have gone 39-26-1 ATS. — John Ewing

Mears: How I’m Handicapping Tonight’s Game

It’s really hard to know what to make of this Pelicans team right now. They’re coming off an absolute drubbing at home against the Magic, 117-88. They shot just 38% from the field, 34% from beyond the arc and got to the free throw line just eight total times. They scored 17 points in the first and 15 points in the third — when their starters were playing together. It was ugly.

Reportedly the Pelicans won’t shut down Anthony Davis for the rest of the season, and while he played just 24 minutes in that Orlando game, note that no one really played that much given how out of hand the game was by the fourth.

But are there motivation issues in New Orleans right now? Being the center of the biggest media story in the league has to take its toll, especially when it’s about the franchise superstar not wanting to play with his current teammates. Maybe the locker room is fine; it’s more likely that it’s not.

Further, if you want to bet the Thunder, you have to feel pretty good about their play recently. They’re 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS over their last 10. Overall, they’ve been solid bets on the road this season, going 17-12 ATS.

During that 10-game sample, they’re fourth in offensive efficiency, including second in effective field goal percentage and fifth in turnover rate. They’ve turned around their defense after a mid-season lull, sitting seventh in efficiency allowed over the last 10 games.

Of course, nothing I’ve written here is private information. The Thunder are an extremely public team tonight, getting 90% of the bets and 87% of the money. Per Bet Labs, teams getting at least 80% of the spread dollars are just 337-385-8 (46.7%) ATS, good for a -9.0 Return on Investment (ROI). It’s even worse for visiting teams.

That’s concerning, and it’s likely why the line is a bit inflated toward the Thunder. Still, if you want to take the angle that the Pelicans are broken right now and just want to have a week off, there’s almost assuredly value on that number. I will likely stay away unless we get any tidbits from beat writers indicating minutes will be limited. — Bryan Mears

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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