The Phoenix Suns head home on Tuesday after splitting their two-game series with the Sacramento Kings. Phoenix hosts the New Orleans Pelicans who are coming off a victory over the San Antonio Spurs in their last assignment.
Both these teams are 2-1 to start the season and they are looking to have a good start that would help them make the playoffs. New Orleans has not made the postseason since 2018 while Phoenix is trying to end a 10-year playoff drought. These teams have not played each other since December 5, 2018, where the Suns picked up a 139-132 road win over the Pelicans.
The New Orleans Pelicans are off to a 2-1 start this season. With Zion Williamson 100% healthy and playing with no minutes restrictions, the Pelicans have found the winning formula early on. Last Sunday, the Pelicans defeated the San Antonio Spurs 98-95 for their second win of the season.
Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 28 points and 11 rebounds while Zion added 18 points and 11 rebounds. Josh Hart also had his own double-double with 12 points and 10 boards as New Orleans scored 63 of their 98 points in the two middle quarters. Ingram is averaging 26.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game in his first three games of the year.
The Pelicans are scoring just 103 points per game this season but they have the league’s second-best scoring defense at 101.7 points per game. New Orleans is also 11th in rebounding at 47.3 boards grabbed per contest and they are shooting the ball at a 43.3% clip. New Orleans is making only 33.7% of their shots from deep.
The Phoenix Suns head to this home game after salvaging a split against the Sacramento Kings. After losing by three points in their first meeting of the season, the Suns pounced on the Kings and beat them 116-100 in their second consecutive game against each other. Phoenix is now 2-1 to start the season as they hope to end their playoff drought this year.
Mikal Bridges led the Suns with 22 points while Cameron Johnson scored 21 points off the bench. Devin Booker added 20 markers while DeAndre Ayton added a double-double with 11 points and 15 boards. Phoenix outscored Sacramento 62-45 in the middle two quarters to take the lead for good.
The Suns rank in the bottom third in scoring to start the year at only 108.3 points per game scored. They are third in scoring defense at 102. 7 points per game allowed so far. Phoenix is making 46.1% of their shots and 33.0% of their three-point baskets while allowing their foes to shoot 44.9% from the field and 28.9% from downtown. The Suns are pulling down an average of 44.0 rebounds per contest.
New Orleans is 2-4 SU in their last six games played. The Pelicans are 1-5 SU in their last six games played on the road, 0-5 SU in their last five games against the Pacific Division, and 6-1 SU in their last seven December games. Phoenix is 10-1 SU in their last 11 games played. The Suns are 7-0 SU in their last seven games played at home, 6-1 SU in their last seven games against the Western Conference, and 5-0 SU in their last five games against the Southwest Division. Head to head, the Pelicans have won seven out of their last 10 games played against the Suns.
New Orleans is having a much better start than the previous season. Last year, they didn’t get their third win until game number 11 and they won just six of their first 28 games. But now that Zion Williamson is healthy to start the year, New Orleans is off to a 2-1 start. Williamson is averaging 21.7 points and 11.7 rebounds per game while playing 35.3 minutes per game.
The Suns are trying to end their decade-long playoff drought. After an impressive performance in the bubble, oddsmakers are high on the Suns this season. Phoenix is 2-1 to start the season and this is their fourth straight game as the betting favorite.
The Suns could be tired here as they are playing for the third time in four nights. However, this team has a deep rotation which could carry them in tough schedules like this one.
Phoenix split the series with the Kings but their loss was just a three-point win which they could’ve easily won had they played better. The Suns have one of the best defenses to start the year and they will take on a New Orleans squad whose offense has gone sour at the beginning of the season. This should be a defensive battle with the Suns winning at home.
Prediction: Phoenix Suns
The Pelicans are 1-5 ATS in their last six games played. New Orleans is 1-5 ATS in their last five games played on the road. The Suns are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games played. Phoenix is 7-0 ATS in their last seven home games. Head to head, the Pelicans are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games played against the Suns. New Orleans is also 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games in Phoenix.
The Suns have covered the spread in each of their last seven games played and in 10 out of their last 11. So far, the Pelicans have been the lowest-scoring team in the league while the Suns have the third-best defense to start the year. The Suns have the deeper team here and their bench has outscored the Pelicans’ bench by 13 points through the first week of the season. With Phoenix playing for the third time in four games, look for this team to pull off the win with a big help from their bench.
Prediction: Suns -3
The total has gone under in six out of the last seven games played by the Pelicans. The under is 2-0 in their two road games played so far this year. The total has gone under in seven out of New Orleans’ last eight games played against the Western Conference. The under is 4-1 in the Suns’ last five games played. Phoenix has seen the total go under in four out of their last six December games. The over is 5-1 in the Suns’ last six Tuesday games. Head to head, the total has gone over in five out of the last six meetings between these two teams.
These teams have combined to score an average of 240.3 points per game in their last 10 head to head meetings. However, the 2020-21 season has been different, at least in the first week. Both New Orleans and Phoenix rank in the Top 3 in scoring defense as they have allowed less than 103 points per game in their first three assignments. On the other hand, both have also struggled to shoot from the floor to start the year. The Pelicans have failed to score 100 points in their last two games while the Suns will be playing for the third time in four games so fatigue could be an issue here. The under is a combined 6-0 in their combined six games played. All signs point to a low scoring game.
Prediction: Under 223
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