Suns vs Pelicans Preview & Free Pick [February 19th 2021]

Phoenix (17-10) at New Orleans (12-16)
When: Friday, February 19th, 2021
Where: Smoothie King Center,
New Orleans, LA
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: NBA Full Court
Opening Odds: Phoenix -2/229

The Phoenix Suns haven’t played a road game since Feb. 3 in New Orleans and they’ll be back in the Smoothie King Center Friday night after a successful homestand to take on the Pelicans. Phoenix went 6-1 SU and ATS during the long homestand and really should have made it seven, but blew a big lead in losing Tuesday night to the Brooklyn Nets 128-124. The normally reliable defense allowed the Nets to score 74 second half points and erase a 24-point first half deficit. The Suns led 116-108 with less than five minutes remaining, but were outscored 20-8 the rest of the way and went scoreless for the final 2:48. The Nets didn’t lead in the game until James Harden’s 3-pointer put them on top 126-124 with 31 seconds left. The Suns still defeated Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Boston during the homestand. The Pelicans are also coming off a loss on Wednesday when Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers won the game late 126-124. Lillard had 43 points and tied a career-high with 16 assists as the Pelicans were playing the second of a back-to-back after beating Memphis 144-113. These teams have split their first two meetings with each winning on their home court. The Suns won 111-86 on Dec. 29 in Phoenix, and the Pelicans won 123-101 just over two weeks ago. The Suns are 4-2 ATS in the last six meetings and the over has cashed in six of the last seven encounters.

The Suns have put themselves in good position to grab a top four seed in the postseason and sit just a half-game behind the Blazers for the coveted spot. All five starters scored in double-figures in the tough loss to Brooklyn on Tuesday led by veteran Chris Paul’s 29 points. Devin Booker had 22 points and seven assists, while Deandre Ayton contributed 16 points and nine rebounds. Ayton is fourth in the league in rebounding at 12.2 boards per game. The Suns boast one of the best defenses in the NBA, holding opponents to just 108.0 points a game and 35.4 percent from 3-point range. Phoenix will play tomorrow night in Memphis before returning home to play a pair.

Suns are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Suns are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a favorite.
Suns are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
Suns are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 2 days rest.
Suns are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up loss.
Suns are 25-10 ATS in their last 35 games overall.
Suns are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS loss.
Suns are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 road games.
Suns are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a road favorite.

Zion Williamson tied his career-high with 36 points in the loss to Portland, but didn’t touch the ball on the final possession. Instead, Lonzo Ball missed a 3-pointer and Brandon Ingram missed a jumper. Ball had 21 points including 5-of-10 from beyond the arc, while Ingram had 14 points, five rebounds and six assists. That broke a streak of nine-straight 20+ point games for Ingram, who was just 4-of-12 from the field. Willy Hernangomez was a monster off the bench with a season-high 17 rebounds to go along with 11 points. The Pelicans are 27th in the league in shooting free throws at 73.3 percent. New Orleans will host the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

Pelicans are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a home underdog.
Pelicans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog.
Pelicans are 7-16 ATS in their last 23 games playing on 1 days rest.
Pelicans are 8-23-2 ATS in their last 33 Friday games.
Pelicans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Pelicans are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Pelicans are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.

Offense hasn’t been an issue for the Pelicans lately, but they’re going up against a stiff defense in Phoenix. New Orleans has been allowing an alarming number of points and most of the trends favor the Suns here. I’ll take the better team.

Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today.

Pick: Suns -2.5