Home » Pelicans vs Thunder Game 4 prediction: Can New Orleans avoid a sweep at home?

Pelicans vs Thunder Game 4 prediction: Can New Orleans avoid a sweep at home?

Pelicans vs Thunder Game 4 prediction: Can New Orleans avoid a sweep at home?

The New Orleans Pelicans will look to avoid being swept by the Oklahoma City Thunder in their first-round series this evening. The Thunder have grown into their role as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference as the NBA Playoffs have gone on. Oklahoma City has dominated New Orleans in every contest since Game 1 and it is now on the brink of a four-game sweep.

Oddsmakers showed a lot of respect to the Pelicans in Game 3 at home. The Thunder were only one-point road favorites, despite a 32-point win in Game 2. However, this confidence was unwarranted as the visitors steamrolled the hosts, 106-85, to take a 3-0 series lead. Tipoff for Game 4 is slated for 7:30 p.m. CT inside the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Oklahoma City has shown a national audience why it should be taken seriously in the last two games. The Thunder have shot 54% from the field in Games 2 and 3, all while holding the Pelicans under 93 points for a third consecutive contest. Mark Daigneault’s team is dominating at both ends of the floor right now and a sweep would be the perfect reward for their recent play.

Meanwhile, it seems as if nothing has gone right for New Orleans to date. It was always going to be a tall task to eliminate the West’s top seed, and that task was made tougher by Zion Williamson’s absence. The Pelicans haven’t taken advantage of the few opportunities they’ve been given, allowing the Thunder to step on their throats through three games.

FanDuel Sportsbook lists Oklahoma City as a 5-point favorite with the over/under set at 205.

Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:

Oklahoma City Thunder at New Orleans Pelicans

Time/TV: 7:30 p.m. CT (TNT)

Spread (from FanDuel Sportsbook): Thunder -5

Total: 205

Moneyline: Thunder -200, Pelicans +166

Analysis: Oklahoma City’s head honcho won the NBA Coach of the Year Award on Sunday and the recognition couldn’t come at a more perfect time. Daigneault has wiped the floor with Willie Green in this series as the coaching adjustments have been night and day since Game 1.

As I alluded to earlier, it was always going to be tough for New Orleans to come out and win this series, especially after a crushing blow in Game 1. However, the Pelicans have come out flat-footed and they have looked like the second-best team on the floor for the last 96 minutes.

The Thunder have played defense and rebounded with more desire and intensity than their opponents. It doesn’t hurt when the league’s second-most efficient offense scores at an elite clip either. Every member of Oklahoma City’s starting five (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Lu Dort, Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren) is enjoying a fantastic series to date. It’s safe to say the West’s top seed is peaking at the right time.

It’s just a matter of time now for New Orleans as no team in NBA history has ever overcome a 3-0 series deficit. I showed far too much respect to the Pelicans with my prediction for Game 2, but I’m going to do so again here in hopes they can at least show some fight in Game 4.

I like the Thunder to win a close game and complete the sweep this evening.

My favorite play is Brandon Ingram UNDER 21.5 points (-120). He has yet to reach this mark in the three-game series and he’s only done it once in his last six. Ingram has been on lockdown in the “Dort-ure Chamber” and he looks frustrated. The star has struggled to get anything going when being guarded by one of the league’s best defenders in Dort — will he check out now?

Prediction: Thunder 103, Pelicans 97 (Under 205)

Best bet: Brandon Ingram UNDER 21.5 points (-120 via FanDuel Sportsbook)

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