After going on a three-game win streak, the New Orleans Pelicans found themselves back in the loss column on Friday night with a loss to the Cavs. They will look to start a new win streak tonight as they head to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder, and we’ll preview the game before going over my best prop bet for the action.
As if the Pelicans' recent ten-game losing streak wasn’t enough, it was just announced that Zion Williamson suffered a setback with his injury and will be out even longer than expected. New Orleans’ offense seemed to find a little rhythm without him over their three-game win streak, but they struggled again on Friday night, only scoring 107 points.
Over the last ten games, the Pelicans are ranked 17th in the league in offensive efficiency rating, which has led to a -2.1 NET rating in that span. In the loss to the Cavs, Brandon Ingram scored 25 points, but he still finished with a plus/minus of -9 for the game.
Defensively, New Orleans has a defensive efficiency rating of 116.7 over the past ten games, which ranks 19th in that span. They will undoubtedly be in for a challenge on that end of the floor tonight since the OKC Thunder have scored 133 or more points in back-to-back games and have the 2nd best offensive efficiency rating in the league over the past ten games.
The Thunder went 5-5 in their last ten games, but the losses had nothing to do with their offensive play as of late. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is fresh off a 44-point performance in their most recent win and is averaging 33.3 points per game over the last ten games, while a lot of the Thunder’s young pieces have started to develop nicely on the offensive end.
Oklahoma City’s five losses during this recent stretch lead back to their continual problems on the defensive end. Across the past ten games, the Thunder have the 5th worst defensive efficiency rating in the league, and in that span, opponents are shooting 51% from the field.
For my best prop play in this one, I’ll be targeting Trey Murphy III over 2.5 three-pointers made at (+120). Murphy is averaging exactly 2.5 threes per game over the last ten games and has gone over his total in five of those games. Over that stretch, the Pelicans starter is averaging 5.8 attempts per game while shooting 43.1% from deep, but I expect both numbers to increase a bit tonight.
The Pelicans are taking on a Thunder team that has allowed their opponents to find a lot of success from three, especially over the past ten games. In that stretch, teams are shooting 38.8% against the Thunder, which is the 5th highest percentage in the league. On top of that, opponents are averaging 13.4 made three-pointers a game against the Thunder, and in their most recent game, they allowed the Trail Blazers to make 16 on 40% shooting.
New Orleans needs to get something going on the offensive end, and against a team like the Thunder, they may lean more into shooting. In what could be a back-and-forth high-scoring game, I think this number is worth taking, especially at plus money.
Trey Murphy III Over 2.5 Three-Pointers Made (+120)