Suns vs. Pelicans NBA expert prediction and odds for Monday, April 1 (How to bet total)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Phoenix Suns-New Orleans Pelicans matchup in the NBA on Monday.

Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant.
Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant. / Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans are fighting for the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference heading into Monday night’s matchup. 

New Orleans slipped into the No. 6 spot with the Dallas Mavericks on a seven-game winning streak, but the Suns are two games back of them and holding the No. 8 seed. Kevin Durant and company would love to avoid the play-in tournament in the West, but they’ll need a strong close to the 2023-24 season. 

With Brandon Ingram out, the Pelicans are technically underdogs in this matchup at home. Does this make them undervalued, or should we bet on the Suns? We always could bet on a total, and there is an angle I like in this meeting. 

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Let’s dive into the odds and my best bet for this Western Conference showdown: 

Suns vs. Pelicans odds, spread and total

Suns vs. Pelicans how to watch

  • Date: Monday, April 1
  • Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Smoothie King Center
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports New Orleans, Bally Sports Southwest
  • Suns record: 43-31
  • Pelicans record: 45-29

Suns vs. Pelicans injury reports

Suns injury report

  • Damion Lee – out

Pelicans injury report

  • Jose Alvarado – out
  • Brandon Ingram – out
  • Cody Zeller – available

Suns vs. Pelicans key players to watch

Phoenix Suns

Kevin Durant: The league MVP is turning things on right now for the Suns, scoring 25 or more points in each of his last four games, but the Suns are just 2-2 over that stretch. Durant and the Suns are two games out of the No. 6 seed, so I’d expect the star wing to continue looking to score at a high level the rest of the 2023-24 season and not defer to his teammates as often. 

New Orleans Pelicans

Zion Williamson: With Brandon Ingram out, Zion has taken on a huge role for the Pelicans, averaging 29.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game over his last four matchups. The former No. 1 overall pick is going to be a tough guard for Phoenix, and he’s shooting 65.1 percent from the field in this four-game stretch. 

Suns vs. Pelicans prediction and pick

The Pelicans are one of the better defensive teams in the NBA, and both of these teams have found themselves falling short of this number as of late. 

  • The Suns have fallen short of this total in seven of their last 15 games
  • The Pelicans have gone UNDER this number in nine of their last 12 games

Over New Orleans’ last 10 games, the team ranks eighth in the NBA in defensive rating, and it’s also worth noting that the Pels are 20th in the league in pace over that stretch. 

On the season, the Suns are middle of the pack in pace (15th in the league), but both of these teams hit the UNDER more often when they’re in this spot. 

  • The UNDER is 21-16 in the Suns’ 37 road games
  • The UNDER is 20-16 in the Pelicans’ 36 home games

Even though there is a ton of offensive talent on both sides, this game should have a playoff atmosphere given the ramifications of a loss in the standings. 

I expect defense to reign supreme in New Orleans tonight. 

Pick: UNDER 224.5 (-110)

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.