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Tuesday Night NBA pick: Pelicans vs. Suns Prediction

Jessica Gridiron
Pelicans vs Suns prediction and pick for Tuesday night NBA action.
Pelicans vs Suns prediction and pick for Tuesday night NBA action. / Sean Gardner/GettyImages

In a young season, early expectations rarely translate to end-of-season results. The disappointing Phoenix Suns host the young New Orleans Pelicans tonight in a game both teams need badly. In this prediction, let's dive into a Pelicans spread vs. Suns pick and determine the best bet for this Western Conference prediction.

Tuesday Night NBA pick: Pelicans vs. Suns Prediction

New Orleans comes into this game with the worst record (1-6) in the Western Conference without their superstar in Zion Williamson. Phoenix has had a slow start to the season (2-3) and is looking to get things going.

No Loss NOLA

Missing a key piece in Zion has caused the Pelicans to start the season much slower than they expected. Albeit New Orleans does boast a healthy 4-3 record against the spread. They have had a difficult schedule thus far and have held their own against teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, and New York Knicks.

Regarding their advanced metrics, New Orleans is 24th (49.1%) in effective field goal percentage (eFG%) but is facing a Phoenix team that is allowing the third highest eFG% (55.2%) this season. The Pelicans are the 6th best in the league at offensive rebounds (26.4%), which will be strength vs. strength as the Suns are the 4th best (81.3%) at defensive boards this season. If New Orleans can get to the line in this game more than their 20th ranked (16%) free throws per field goal attempt (FT/FGA) average, they could have a good chance to win this game outright.

Valley of the Sun

Since their appearance in the NBA Finals, the Suns haven’t looked the same to start the season. Phoenix has a 1-4 record against the spread so far this season and has fielded a below-average offense and defense to begin 2021. Much of this may come down to the NBA Finals slump seen year in and year out.

Phoenix ranks 16th in eFG% (51.1%) and will be facing a New Orleans defense allowing the 9th highest percentage at 53.2%. New Orleans allows the 5th highest defensive FT/FGA this season, but Phoenix only ranks 14th offensively, so on both sides of the ball free throws may be a big factor in this game. Superstar Devin Booker is in a slump and is shooting a mere 28.6% from three which could benefit the Pelicans if they can play proper perimeter defense in this game.

Pelicans vs. Suns prediction and pick

11.5 points are far too many for two teams that rank in the bottom half of the league across the board. Part of the Pelicans' struggles may be due to the lack of Zion and their difficult schedule thus far. If New Orleans can secure offensive rebounds as they have so far this season, they should have plenty of opportunities at second-chance points and keep this game closer than Vegas seems. Take the Pelicans +11.5 at the FanDuel Sportsbook and expect a tight-fought battle in tonight’s game.