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Pelicans vs. Kings: Prediction, TV channel, live stream, how to watch NBA Play-In Tournament online, odds

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The final Western Conference Play-In Tournament game is set, as the New Orleans Pelicans will host the Sacramento Kings on Friday night. The winner will secure the No. 8 seed and advance to face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs, while the loser will head to the lottery. 

The Pelicans are in this spot after losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the Play-In Tournament, and will be without star forward Zion Williamson, who suffered a hamstring strain in that game. As for the Kings, they crushed the Golden State Warriors in their first Play-In game, but will also be shorthanded on Friday due to long-term absences for Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter. 

Ahead of Friday’s win-or-go-home game, here’s everything you need to know:

Pelicans vs. Kings

  • Date: Friday, April 19 | Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Smoothie King Center — New Orleans, Louisiana
  • TV channel: TNT | Live streamfubo (try for free)
  • Odds: Kings -1.5 | O/U 210.5

Storylines

Pelicans: A once-promising season for the Pelicans has quickly fallen apart. They lost to the Lakers on the final day of the regular season to miss out on the final guaranteed playoff spot in the West, then lost to the Lakers again in the 7 vs. 8 game a few days later, and lost Zion Williamson to a hamstring strain in the process. He is due to be re-evaluated in two weeks, and even if they’re able to beat the Kings on Friday, it seems unlikely that he’d participate in the first round of the playoffs. And without him, they have no chance versus the Thunder. 

Kings: The Kings went 4-7 down the stretch in the regular season to fall to ninth, but are one win away from escaping the Play-In Tournament and clinching back-to-back playoff berths for the first time since 2005-06. To do so, they’ll have to get past a Pelicans team that has had their number all season. The Kings are 0-5 against the Pels this season, with four of those losses by double digits. Even with Williamson sidelined, they will not have an easy time on the road. 

Prediction

The Pelicans’ long-term hopes are shot without Williamson, but they can win one game at home. Their perimeter defenders make this a bad matchup for the Kings, especially with Monk and Huerter sidelined. I’ll take the Pels in a close one. Pick: Pelicans +1.5

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