Thunder vs Pelicans NBA Free Pick & Prediction [Game 3]

Pelicans head home down 2-0 to the Thunder

Oklahoma City (2-0) at New Orleans (0-2)
When: Saturday, April 27th 2024
Where: Smoothie King Center,
New Orleans, LA

Time: 3:30 ET | TV: TNT
Opening Odds: Oklahoma City -1.5/211.5

After winning at the buzzer in Game 1, the Oklahoma City Thunder took control of Game 2 early and dominated the New Orleans Pelicans 124-92 to take a 2-0 series lead. Now the series shifts to the Crescent City for Game 3 on Saturday afternoon. The Thunder were brilliant on Wednesday, shooting 59.0 percent from the floor and making 14-of-29 attempts from 3-point range. Oklahoma City’s defense was excellent in both games as New Orleans scored fewer than 100 points in consecutive games for just the second time this season.

In Game 2, the Pelicans shot a modest 45.2 percent from the floor, but were a dreadful 7-of-26 from 3-point range and the Thunder scored 22 points off 18 New Orleans turnovers. Even with a 2-0 lead, the odds for OKC to wrap up the series in a sweep are not that steep at +170. A five-game series is +150, and the series going to six games is +600. If New Orleans can fight their way back and win the series in seven games, the payout would be +1800. The Thunder are slight 1-point favorites for Saturday’s contest.


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the way for OKC on Wednesday with 33 points and was 13-for-19 from the floor. Chet Holmgren also had a solid Game 2 with 26 points and a team-best +32 rating. Luguentz Dort, who had been quiet lately, finished with 15 points, including a 4-for-6 night from beyond the arc. Jalen Williams is also keeping up where he left off in the regular season, recording 20 points, five rebounds and seven assists. The Thunder are 24-17 on the road this season.


With Zion Williamson still out, Brandon Ingram, Trey Murply III and CJ McCollum have their work cut out for them. Playing at home has not been fun for the Pelicans lately, who had lost six straight before eliminating the Kings in the Play-In last week. Ingram has averaged 15.0 points and is shooting just 37.0 percent from the floor in the first two games. Third-leading scorer CJ McCollum has averaged 17.5 points but is just 3-of-14 from 3-point range. Center Jonas Valanciunas scored New Orleans’ first 11 points in Game 2, but scored just eight more the rest of the way.

The Thunder are clearly the better team in this series. Without Williamson’s presence underneath, the Pelicans are in trouble. New Orleans also hasn’t played well at home, going just 1-6 SU in their last seven. The Thunder are just too hot for the Pelicans right now and should take care of business and put this series to bed.

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

Pick: Thunder -1