Free NBA Pick: Will Pelicans Bounce Back Tonight Against Suns?

Darin Zank

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 2:24 PM GMT

Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014 2:24 PM GMT

Phoenix swept four games from New Orleans last season, covering 3/4 pointspreads in the process. The Suns will try to extend that winning streak to five games when they visit the Pelicans Tonight.

 

Suns-Pelicans Betting Odds
Most of the NBA betting odds market opened this game with New Orleans favored by two points, the total posted at 211, and both those numbers were holding steady in the early betting.

 

Suns-Pelicans: Background
Phoenix began this season with a wins betting OVER/UNDER of 44. At the moment the Suns are on pace to win 46 games and play OVER that total. Phoenix has been running skittish lately; earlier this month the Suns struggled through a six-game losing streak, losing several close games. But at the moment they own a six-game winning streak, following a 116-107 victory at the Lakers Sunday night. Phoenix shot 51 percent from the floor Sunday, made nine of 22 shots from 3-point land and covered as a five-point road favorite.

During that six-game losing streak the Suns lost five games by a total of 16 points.

On the homey side of this match-up New Orleans went off this season with a wins total of 44. So far, the Pelicans are on pace to win only 41 games.

New Orleans has been alternating wins and losses for the last couple of weeks. Twelve days ago the Pelicans won at Houston; they then lost at home to Portland, then won at Oklahoma City, then lost at Indiana, then beat defending league champion San Antonio. But last time out, Saturday night, New Orleans lost at Chicago 107-100.

The Pelicans shot 47 percent from the floor Saturday, and held on for the cover as 10-point underdogs.

So big-picture; at 18-14 the Suns hold down the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference standings, while the Pelicans, at 15-15, are in ninth place, two games behind Phoenix. So Tuesday's game might actually mean a lot.

 

Suns-Pelicans Recent History
This is the first meeting between these teams this season. Last season Phoenix swept four games from New Orleans, winning twice outright as an underdog. The Suns outshot the Pelicans from the field in those four games combined by a 50 to 46 percent margin. Also, the totals split on those four games, which averaged 200 points.

 

Suns-Pelicans Key Numbers
Phoenix ranks 14th in the league in FG shooting at 46 percent, and first in FT shooting at 80 percent. The Suns also rank 16th in FG defense, allowing opponents to shoot 45 percent, just 22nd in rebounding at -2 per game, and average a 21/15 assist-to-turnover ratio, although they've been a little better with the ball as of late.

New Orleans ranks 16th in FG shooting at 46 percent, and just 26th in FG defense, allowing foes to shoot 47 percent from the floor. The Pelicans also own a 22/12 A/TO ratio, which ain't bad.

 

Suns-Pelicans Betting Trends
Phoenix is 19-13 on the totals this season, as Suns games have averaged 209 points. They've also played three OVERS in a row, even against some very high totals.

New Orleans is 17-13 on the totals, as Pelicans games have averaged 204 points. But the 'Cans have also played five UNDERS in their last six games.

Phoenix is 11-7 SU and 11-6-1 ATS on the road this season.
New Orleans is 9-4 SU and 8-5 ATS at home.

 

Suns-Pelicans Free Pick
As the pointspread indicates, this is likely to be a close game, matching a hot Phoenix team against an up-and-down New Orleans outfit. But we believe the Pelicans will bounce back after the tough loss at Chicago, and put an end to those Suns winning streaks. So we'll go with the home team at the short spread for our free NBA pick in this spot.

Free NBA Pick: New Orleans -1.5 at 5Dimes

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