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Pelicans vs. Thunder odds, score prediction, time: 2024 NBA playoff picks, Game 1 best bets by proven model

The Oklahoma City Thunder, who earned the top seed in the Western Conference for the first time in 11 years, will open NBA playoff first-round action against the eighth-seeded New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night. The Thunder (57-25), who won their final five games to secure the Northwest Division title, are 33-8 on their home court. The Pelicans (49-33), who finished second in the Southwest Division, are 28-14 on the road. This will be the first time the teams have met in the postseason. New Orleans will be without leading scorer Zion Williamson, who is out with a hamstring injury.

Tip-off from Paycom Center in Oklahoma City is set for 9:30 p.m. ET. The Thunder are 8.5-point favorites in the latest Pelicans vs. Thunder odds from SportsLine consensus, while the over/under for total points scored is 215. Before making any Thunder vs. Pelicans picks, you’ll want to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters the 2024 NBA playoffs on a sizzling 88-58 roll on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning more than $2,600. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Pelicans vs. Thunder and just locked in its picks and NBA playoff predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Thunder vs. Pelicans:

  • Pelicans vs. Thunder spread: Oklahoma City -8.5
  • Pelicans vs. Thunder over/under: 215 points
  • Pelicans vs. Thunder money line: New Orleans +275, Oklahoma City -348
  • NO: The Pelicans are 6-0 in their last six games on the road
  • OKC: The Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their past five games
  • Pelicans vs. Thunder picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why the Thunder can cover

Power forward Chet Holmgren started all 82 games this season. He has reached double-digit scoring in four of the past five games, including registering a double-double in a 121-118 win at Charlotte on April 7. In that game, he scored 20 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, blocked three shots, dished out two assists, and made two steals. He is averaging 16.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.3 blocks in 29.4 minutes. In three games against New Orleans, he averaged 18.3 points and 11 rebounds with 2.3 assists and two blocks.

Shooting guard Josh Giddey also provides the Thunder with offense. In 80 games, all starts, he is averaging 12.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 25.2 minutes. He surpassed those totals against the Pelicans. In three games against New Orleans, he averaged 14.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists. He posted a triple-double and two double-doubles over his final five regular-season games. In the win over Charlotte on April 7, he scored 20 points, while adding 13 assists and 13 rebounds. See which team to pick here

Why the Pelicans can cover

Without Williamson, New Orleans will look to small forward Brandon Ingram to carry a heavier load. The team’s second-leading scorer is averaging 20.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 64 games, all starts. He has two double-doubles and one triple-double on the year. In a 132-112 win over Charlotte on Jan. 17, he scored 28 points, while grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out 10 assists.

Also being counted on to provide more offense is shooting guard C.J. McCollum. In 66 games, all starts, he is averaging 20 points, 4.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 32.7 minutes. McCollum is connecting on 45.9% of his field goals, including a blistering 42.9% from 3-point range, and 82.7% from the foul line. In three games against the Thunder during the regular season, he averaged 21.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists. See which team to pick here

How to make Thunder vs. Pelicans picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning Over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 219 points. The model also says one side hits in over 50% of simulations. You can only get the model’s pick at SportsLine

So who wins Pelicans vs. Thunder, and which side hits in over 50% of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that has returned more than $2,600 on its NBA picks this season, and find out. 

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