Pelicans vs. Suns NBA Picks: Can New Orleans Keep Up With Phoenix?

Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans. Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images/AFP

The 1-6 New Orleans Pelicans look to get back on track when they visit the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night. Here’s a complete preview, including betting odds and free NBA picks.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Phoenix Suns

Tuesday, November 02, 2021 – 10:00 PM EDT at Footprint Center

The Suns opened at -10.5 at sportsbooks like DraftKings and FiveThirtyEight projects them to win this game by 8.5 points, giving them a 79 percent chance to get the victory. The equivalent moneyline is -376. USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin’s has the Suns at -8.5 using his Rating numbers. There’s a 2-point gap between the projections at FiveThirtyEight and USA Today and the actual NBA odds, which gives us great value.

No Zion for New Orleans, Ayton Questionable for Phoenix

Zion Williamson is still out after having offseason surgery for a fractured foot and in his absence, Brandon Ingram (plus-1.2 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) has taken over as the team’s primary option offense. Pelicans head coach Willie Green has empowered Ingram to lead and get as many points as he can and he looks stronger. Ingram’s is better now that he is the focal point of the offense and he’s in a great rhythm. Unfortunately, the defense is questionable and some nights he has to do it all on offense. That said, Jonas Valanciunas is coming together lately and Devonte’ Graham and Nickeil Alexander-Walker can go off.

Devin Booker wasn’t seen as a winner despite torching defenses on a regular basis. The Suns struggled and the narrative was that he delivered “empty stats” but he silenced his doubters by making the NBA Finals the moment he got a team around him in his first NBA playoffs. Booker was on his way to leading the Suns to the NBA Championship and a Finals MVP award before the his team threw that away.

Phoenix is overlooked this season and yes and they’re off to a slow start but they brought back most of the core from their NBA Finals run and they added depth with Landry Shamet, Elfrid Payton and JaVale McGee.

Jonas Valanciunas #17 of the New Orleans Pelicans. Sean Gardner/Getty Images/AFP

Prediction

Deandre Ayton left Saturday’s 101-92 home win against the Cavaliers with a right leg contusion and he is day-to-day. Monitor Ayton’s status for this game, he is a special talent and Valanciunas can have a field day is he’s out.

I see the Suns winning but they’re just 1-4 ATS this season and Ayton’s potential absence is significant on defense. The Pelicans have enough weapons keep this game close and I can’t trust the Suns laying so many points. Wait as long as possible to find of Ayton is playing before placing your bets.

NBA Pick: Pelicans +10.5 (-110) at DraftKings