Suns Game Tonight vs New Orleans Pelicans Odds, Lineups, Prediction

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns bulldozed over the Charlotte Hornets to close out the holiday weekend, but tonight, they move even further down south, looking to keep their road trip’s momentum alive while matching up with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Having won five of their last eight games, New Orleans looks stronger right now than they have all season. But given their overall 13-24 record, that’s not saying much.

They bayou boys remain without star forward Zion Williamson as he works his way back from a foot injury. Brandon Ingram also remains day-to-day with an achilles injury. Needless to say, the Pelicans present the Suns with a juicy opportunity to start the new year 2-0.

Phoenix Suns vs New Orleans Pelicans Odds, Moneyline, Over/Under

According to WynnBET, the Suns enter this matchup favored at a -7.5 point spread. Their moneyline odds are at -320, and the game’s over/under currently sits at 223.5 points.

With Phoenix’s record putting them at the Western Conference’s peak while the Pelicans dwell at the bottom, they need to be favored in this game. The 7.5 point spread even seems too small when looking at each team’s record alone, but alas, the Suns do remain without key players Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, and JaVale McGee, which narrows the gap.

Phoenix Suns vs New Orleans Pelicans Lineups

With Jae Crowder and Deandre Ayton subjected to health and safety protocols for over a week now, their return must be right around the corner. The Suns did welcome back head coach Monty Williams to the team this morning, but barring any last minute changes, expect to see their replacement lineup at least one more time tonight.

  • PG: Chris Paul
  • SG: Devin Booker
  • SF: Mikal Bridges
  • PF: Cameron Johnson
  • C: Jalen Smith

Ingram returned to play for New Orleans last night, but with this game playing as the latter portion of a back-to-back sequence, the Pelicans might hold him out to play things safe. For now though, the Suns still need to game plan for him as NOLA’s best player.

  • PG: Devonte’ Graham
  • SG: Josh Hart
  • SF: Herbert Jones
  • PF: Brandon Ingram
  • C: Jonas Valanciunas

Phoenix Suns vs New Orleans Pelicans Prediction

The Pelicans actually gave the Utah Jazz a solid run for their money last night, trailing by only five points to open up the fourth quarter. But with fatigue playing a factor, it likely becomes difficult for New Orleans to challenge another top Western Conference foe in back-to-back nights.

The Suns also outclass New Orleans from an efficiency standpoint, posting top-10 field goal and 3-point percentage marks, while the Pelicans find themselves in the bottom-10 for each category.

Defensive rebounding sticks out as the only thing which Phoenix needs to worry about. Jonas Valanciunas is enjoying an All-Star worthy campaign right now, and he has New Orleans as the league’s fourth best offensive rebounding team.

Giving up extra shot attempts never bodes well for a team even if they stand as the far more talented unit. But assuming Bismack Biyombo and Jalen Smith fight for those defensive boards, the Suns coast to an easy victory where they cover the spread.

Final: Phoenix Suns 109, New Orleans Pelicans 99

Phoenix Suns Up Next

The Suns head back to the desert following this game, inviting the Los Angeles Clippers to join them on Thursday night.

Without Paul George out though, this team looks far different than the unit which faced off against Phoenix during last year’s Western Conference Semifinals. However, the Suns did play the Clippers earlier this year, doing so again without George and still losing by double digits.

Next. Booker Guided by Lakers Legend in Business Ventures. dark

Granted, the Suns also played that game without Devin Booker and Ayton, but regardless, LA still took it to them with their own losses to even things out. Unless Phoenix brings back their pieces stuck in health and safety protocols, they might be in trouble once again going up against this gritty and deep Clippers squad.