Thunder vs. Pelicans Prediction, Odds & Best Bet for December 23 (Expect a Back-and-Forth First Half in OKC)

Thunder vs. Pelicans Prediction, Odds & Best Bet for December 23 (Expect a Back-and-Forth First Half in OKC)


Thunder vs. Pelicans Game Info

  • Date: Friday, December 23, 2022
  • Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Paycom Center -- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Coverage: BSOK and BSNO

The 2022-23 NBA season continues on Friday with 14 more games, including a battle between the New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder. The Pelicans rank third in the Western Conference with a 19-12 record, while the Thunder check in 12th with a 14-18 record. This should be a good one.

New Orleans snapped a four-game losing streak with a dominating 126-117 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City has responded to a five-game losing streak with a three-game winning streak. It took down the Portland Trail Blazers, 101-98, on Wednesday night.

Thunder vs. Pelicans Odds & Spread

Thunder vs Pelicans Betting Information
Favorite Spread Favorite Spread Odds Underdog Spread Odds Total Over Total Odds Under Total Odds Favorite Moneyline Underdog Moneyline
Thunder -2 - - 232 -110 -110 -126 108
  • All NBA betting lines, odds and prop bets are from FanDuel Sportsbook.
  • Moneyline: OKC: (-146) | NO: (+124)
  • Spread: OKC: -3 (-110) | NO: +3 (-110)
  • Total: 230.5 -- Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)

The Thunder enter this contest as small home favorites on the moneyline and spread per FanDuel Sportsbook's odds. This 8 p.m. ET clash also features an over/under of 230.5 points, which is above average compared to the rest of Friday's projected totals.

Thunder vs. Pelicans Betting Trends

  • The Thunder compiled a 47-31-4 record against the spread last season.
  • Against the spread, as underdogs of 2 points or more, the Pelicans went 25-29 last season.
  • Last season, 40 Thunder games went over the point total.
  • In 82 Pelicans games last year, 33 of them went over the total.

Thunder vs. Pelicans Prediction & Pick

The Pelicans are definitely fighting the injury bug right now. Both Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram have been ruled out for this game, which leaves New Orleans without its top two scorers on the year. The good news is that CJ McCollum is expected to suit up after dropping 40 points on Thursday.

Even with the Pelicans not close to full health, they still enter Friday night with a clear edge. New Orleans leads the NBA in points per away game (118.0), while Oklahoma City ranks 25th in points allowed per home game (114.9). The Thunder will have no answer for McCollum's lethal jump shot.

OKC is also 4-11 straight up in its last 15 games against a Southwest Division opponent, so I'll back New Orleans in a small upset.

Final Score Prediction: Thunder: 114 | Pelicans: 118

Thunder vs. Pelicans Best Bet

The Pelicans were able to coast on Thursday thanks to the 19-point lead they built in the first half. It's something New Orleans fans have become used to seeing in 2022. Head coach Willie Green's team ranks third in average first-half margin (+3.2) and second in first-half points allowed per game (54.3).

On the other side, Oklahoma City owns a -4.1 average first-half margin, which ranks above only two other teams in the NBA. Overall, the Pelicans are a respectable 17-12-2 against the spread (ATS) in the first half, while the Thunder are 12-19-1 ATS in the first half. Back New Orleans to start out hot.

Bet: New Orleans Pelicans First Half +1.5 (-115)

Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.