Monday, May 27, 2024

Thunder vs. Pelicans: Predictions, odds, TV schedule for NBA Western Conference series

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The New Orleans Pelicans have clinched the eighth spot in the Western Conference and will face the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the 2024 NBA playoffs.

The Pelicans secured the final playoff spot in the West by defeating the Sacramento Kings 105-98 in the second game of the Play-In Tournament. Returning from injury, Brandon Ingram notched 24 points, six rebounds, and six assists in the crucial win.

Now, the Pelicans will have a short turnaround before facing a well-rested top-seed team in Oklahoma City.

The Thunder secured the No. 1 seed following a three-way tie for first place with the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves. The Thunders’ 135-86 victory over the Dallas Mavericks confirmed their position as the top seed in the playoffs and secured home-court advantage.

The Oklahoma City Thunder, led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, are headed into the playoffs with the youngest team in modern NBA history, boasting an average age of just 24.

NBA: Power rankings entering playoffs: Who are favorites to win 2024 NBA Finals?

West First-Round: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. New Orleans Pelicans predictions

NBA.com: Thunder in five

Shaun Powell writes: “OKC was a top-five team offensively and defensively, showing the balance that produced a top seed. There really isn’t an exploitable area on this team — at least in this round — other than physical toughness in the paint. That, and with Shai being the biggest talent on the floor, it all screams a short stay for New Orleans.”

Yahoo Sports: Thunder in six

Dan Devine writes: “The overall depth of talent on New Orleans’ roster means the Pelicans can remain competitive, even against an elite opponent and without one of their top guns. Even so: I think the Pels’ best chance of pulling the upset was Zion just Hulk-smashing Chet and OKC’s smaller help defenders to smithereens to the tune of like 38 points per game for two weeks. Maybe he comes back, and he’s able to give Green something. I think that particular ship has sailed, though — and that’s enough for me to pick OKC to sail on.”

The Oklahoman: Thunder, 4-1

Justin Martinez writes: “New Orleans is a dangerous team when it’s at full strength. But Williamson could miss the entire series based off his timeline, so OKC should be able to take care of business. The Thunder can play Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas off the floor with its pick-and-roll game. And even though Herb Jones will make life tough for him, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is still the biggest offensive weapon in the series.”

ESPN: Thunder has a 72% chance to win

According to ESPN’s Matchup Predictor, the Oklahoma City Thunder have a 72.1% chance to beat the New Orleans Pelicans.

West First-Round: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. New Orleans Pelicans odds, betting line

The Oklahoma City Thunder are favored to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans in Game 1, according to the BetMGM odds.

  • Spread: Oklahoma City (-7.5); New Orleans (+7.5)
  • Moneyline: Oklahoma City (-350); New Orleans (+260)
  • Total Over/Under: 214.5
  • Series Winner: Oklahoma City (-110); New Orleans (-110)

Looking to wager? Check out the best mobile sports betting apps offering betting promos in 2024.

West First-Round: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. New Orleans Pelicans schedule

Games Location Date/Time TV/Streaming
Game 1 Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, OK Sunday, April 21 at 9:30 p.m. ET TNT, Fubo
Game 2 Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, OK Wednesday, April 24 at 9:30 p.m. ET TNT, Fubo
Game 3 Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA Saturday, April 27 at 3:30 p.m. ET TNT, Fubo
Game 4 Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA Monday, April 29 at TBD TBD
Game 5 (If necessary) Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, OK Wednesday, May 1 at TBD TBD
Game 6(If necessary) Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA Friday, May 3 at TBD TBD
Game 7(If necessary) Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, OK Sunday, May 5 at TBD TBD

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