New Orleans Pelicans (2-2) at Oklahoma City Thunder (1-2)
NBA Basketball: Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 8:00 pm (Chesapeake Energy Arena)
The Line: Oklahoma City Thunder +5 -- Over/Under: 217.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The New Orleans Pelicans invade the Chesapeake Energy Arena to battle the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night.
The New Orleans Pelicans have split their first four games of the season and they will be looking to bounce back after getting routed by the Suns in a 111-86 road loss on Tuesday. Zion Williamson led the team with 20 points on nine of 13 shooting, Brandon Ingram scored 13 points with six assists while Steven Adams chipped in with 11 points on five of five shooting. As a team, the Pelicans shot 48 percent from the field and a horrendous three of 24 from the 3-point line as they went ice-cold in the second and third quarters where they were outscored by 69-32 combined. Lonzo Ball shot one of seven from the 3-point line to finish with seven points while the bench provided just one 3-pointer as a unit.
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder are coming into this one hoping to avoid a third straight defeat after falling to the Magic in a 118-107 loss on Tuesday. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the team with 23 points and seven assists, Isaiah Roby added 19 points, Luguentz Dort scored 15 points while Mike Muscala chipped in with 14 points off the bench. As a team, the Thunder shot 49 percent from the field and 11 of 34 from the 3-point line as they were scrappy enough to hang in the contest until the fourth quarter where they allowed the Magic to ran away with it. Turnovers were an issue the entire game as the Thunder committed 20 while allowing the Magic to grab 12 offensive boards which was the difference in a close contest.
Looking at the betting trends, the Pelicans are 1-6 ATS in their last seven road games, 0-6 ATS in their last six games against a team with a losing record and 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall. The Thunder are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a double-digit loss at home, 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games and 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
Head to head, the Pelicans are 0-4 ATS in the last four meetings overall and the Pelicans are 2-6 ATS in the last eight meetings in Oklahoma City.
The Thunder have been in a funk and they will be disappointed that they shot themselves in the foot with 20 turnovers against the Magic on Tuesday, while the Pelicans need to bounce back after getting destroyed by the Suns in their last outing. The Thunder found a couple of nice contributions from role players in their last game, but they’re going to need more to get past this Pelicans team who are tough to beat on their night. This is a game I’d rather stay away from, but the Pelicans have more upside and I think they will respond after playing so poorly on Tuesday.