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Last Updated Apr 24, 2022, 14:13 PM

Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans Predictions, Picks, Odds

Friday’s slate of First Round NBA Playoff action will conclude with a pivotal third matchup between the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans. Coverage begins from Smoothie King Center in the Big Easy at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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Score Prediction

Suns 114, Pelicans 106

Best Bets

Suns -1.5 (-110) at BetMGM

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Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans Predictions

After finishing second in the West with a record of 51-21 SU last year, Phoenix effortlessly kept that same train rolling with another dominant start to this season, as the Suns opened with a red-hot 27-8 SU and 18-17 ATS run – with 18 of those victories coming by 10+ PTS. 

Despite Chris Paul’s recent 15-game absence, the Suns carried that same momentum all the way through the finish line, as Phoenix closed the regular season with an impressive 37-10 SU and 26-21 ATS stretch – while scoring 117.1 OPPG and allowing just 109.2 DPPG during that timeframe.

On the other hand, New Orleans posted an incredibly frustrating start to the season, as the Pelicans kicked things off a miserable 14-26 SU and 18-22 ATS skid – with 16 of those SU losses coming by 10+ PTS.

However, New Orleans has played decent basketball since the trade deadline, considering the Pelicans enter Game 3 riding a sturdy 25-20 SU and 26-18-1 ATS run – while tallying 115.7 OPPG and allowing just 109.3 DPPG across that window.

I’ll back Phoenix here, as the Suns appeared somewhat stunned down the homestretch of Game 2 without Devin Booker there to carry the scoring load, and while Booker isn’t expected to return for the remainder of this series, I still believe Phoenix is the far superior team in this matchup.

Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Betting Odds

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Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Betting Resources

Phoenix Suns Betting Analysis

  • SU: 53-31
  • ATS: 47-36-1
  • O/U: 32-51-1

After battling Utah for the top spot in the conference all the way through the final day of last year’s regular season (51-21 SU), Phoenix was surprisingly rusty to start the year, as the Suns dropped three-of-four games out of the gate, while scoring just 106.3 OPPG across that stretch.

Phoenix clearly just needed a few weeks to settle into a rhythm though, considering the Suns boast records of 64-16 SU and 44-36 ATS since their opening skid, while ranking fifth in the league in scoring and third in offensive efficiency (114.8 OPPG, 1.116 OE); and on the flipside, ranking eighth in points allowed and third in defensive efficiency (107.4 DPPG, 1.044 DE).

New Orleans Betting Analysis

  • SU: 53-31
  • ATS: 47-36-1
  • O/U: 32-51-1

After last year’s disappointing 31-41 SU showing, New Orleans initially retained those low expectations with another underwhelming start to this season, as the Pelicans kicked things off with a frustrating 14-26 SU skid – with more than half of those losses coming by double-digits (16).

New Orleans turned things around with solid defense down the stretch though, considering the Pelicans enter Friday’s Game 3 riding a modest 25-20 SU and 26-18-1 ATS stretch – while surrendering just 109.4 DPPG to their opponents during that timeframe.

The Suns are 5-2 ATS in their last seven matchups against New Orleans. (Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Head-to-Head

The Suns won two of three regular-season matchups against New Orleans last year, with the first meeting staying under the total at a score of 111-86 (U 221), while the ensuing two affairs cruised over with an average of 235 PPG.  

However, Phoenix went 3-1 SU against New Orleans this season, with two matchups soaring over the total at an average of 239.5 PPG, while the other two stayed under at 215.5 PPG. 

The Suns and Pelicans split their first two matchups of this series in Phoenix though, with Game 1 staying well under the total at a score of 110-99 (U 224), while Game 2 cruised over with a score of 125-114 (O 222).

Key Players to Watch

  • PHX: Chris Paul - PG (14.7 PPG, 4.4 REB, 10.8 AST)
  • PHX: Deandre Ayton - C (17.2 PPG, 10.2 REB, 1.4 AST)
  • NOP: Brandon Ingram - SF (22.7 PPG, 5.8 REB, 5.6 AST)
  • NOP: CJ McCollum - SG (22.1 PPG, 4.3 REB, 5.1 AST)

Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Betting Conclusion

After evening the series at one game apiece with a tough road victory in Game 2 (W, 125-114), the Pelicans return home for Friday’s third matchup as short underdogs against the Pelicans at Smoothie King Center – marking the sixth time New Orleans has been an underdog across their last ten contests.

I’ll back Phoenix here, as the Suns earned the top spot in the West this season while ranking third in the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency (1.116 OE, 1.044 DE), and while Booker’s injury obviously serves as a crushing blow, I still expect Chris Paul and company to cruise past New Orleans in this series.

Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Betting Trends

  • The Suns are 3-6 ATS in their last nine games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 12 of the last 17 Pelicans' games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in six of the last seven Suns' games.
  • The total has gone OVER in ten of the last 14 matchups between the Suns and Pelicans.
  • The Suns are 5-2 ATS in their last seven matchups against New Orleans.
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