The good news for the Pelicans comes in the return of C.J. McCollum from the COVID-19 list, and hosting a Suns team still down Chris Paul due to a thumb fracture. The bad news is Phoenix has shown little signs of slowing down without their leader at the point. New Orleans comes off a big win over the Rockets without both McCollum and Brandon Ingram, but have only won five of their last 10. They have seen a four-game winning streak and a four-game losing streak during that stretch. Ingram will continue to sit, which should open some scoring options for Jonas Valanciunas in the frontcourt.
No Paul, no problem for the Suns, as they have built a steady lead atop the Pacific division. Still up eight games in the loss column over the Warriors, the Suns have been far more consistent without Paul and have a couple of favorable matchups against the Pelicans. Devin Booker comes off a 30-point performance as he continues to lead the Suns without Paul. Jae Crowder and Mikal Bridges have stepped up in the rotation, Deandre Ayton has a quickness advantage over New Orleans and Cameron Payne has done wonders filling in at times for the injured Paul. Phoenix will also be without Cameron Johnson tonight against the Pelicans.
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NBA Player Props & Picks Today | Suns vs. Pelicans
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Best Suns vs. Pelicans NBA Bets Today & Odds Shopping
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Suns -4.5: -110 (BetMGM)
The Suns have recently played down to opponents and suffered a loss or two to good teams like Milwaukee, but even with injury, Phoenix is closing in on clinching the league’s best record. The only real boost for the Pelicans is getting McCollum off the COVID list, but even with a healthy Ingram, beating the Suns remains a stretch. This is a fantastic betting opportunity to get a Suns team only laying 4.5 points, especially after a season-high 140 they dropped on the Lakers. New Orleans is vulnerable from 3 and that should be exploited by the Crowder/Bridges/Booker trio. The Pelicans do boast some height up front in their rotation, but no big has the sole ability to slow down Ayton. To make matters worse, the Pelicans are 1-4 ATS over their last five games and have a smaller number to cover tonight.
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Landry Shamet Over 6.5 Points: +100 (DraftKings)
This is a low number considering the Awesemo projection and OddsShopper data that supports it. Shamet has seen a slight decrease in minutes over the past three games, which limited his scoring. Since Shamet is shooting 3’s, he can maximize the scoring opportunities even on a light night with shot attempts. Awesemo’s free projection has Shamet finishing two points above the total at 8.6 and a return of -115. OddsShopper has a 66% xWin chance of Shamet going over his NBA player prop with a 23% xROI on the play.
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Deandre Ayton Under 9.5 Rebounds: +104 (FanDuel)
Ayton is going up against three bigs in the center rotation that could keep him off the glass. Ayton should have an easier time getting to the rim in a scoring position, as OddsShopper found a solid plus-money return by playing the height advantage. Awesemo’s free projection has Ayton finishing with 9.6 rebounds, which is spot on the total, but the difference is in OddsShopper data determining the value in this play. OddsShopper has a 63% xWin chance that Ayton stays under 9.5 rebounds despite the projection going over it at 9.6. That is a great example of how OddsShopper can still squeeze value out of a sharp projection from Awesemo. Ayton has failed to hit double-digit rebounds in four of the seven games played in March.
Jonas Valanciunas Over 10.5 Points: -118 (FanDuel)
This is the correlation to the Pelicans keeping Ayton off the glass and Valanciunas being the prime beneficiary of it. The Pelicans’ big man is projected to have 10.9 boards tonight and has a favorable size advantage against the Suns. He stands to play the most minutes in the center rotation, which may also improve his chances of getting to 11 boards. OddsShopper has a 64% xWin chance that Valanciunas clears his rebound total, something he has done twice in five games, but did have a 10-rebound night during that stretch.
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