NBA Playoffs Tips & Preview – Pelicans @ Suns (Game 1)

The playoffs are underway and the daily preview takes it to the rim with NBA tips for Game 1 between top-seeded Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans. 

11:00 (AEST), Mon 18th Apr @ Footprint Center, Phoenix

History: Played 68: Suns 36 V Pelicans 32

Last meeting: March 15, 2022: Suns 131 d Pelicans 115 at Smoothie King Center

Final Thoughts: NBA Championship favourites Phoenix Suns get their playoffs campaign underway against a New Orleans Pelicans outfit that won their way through the West’s play-in tournament from ninth.

The Pelicans accounted for the 10th-placed Spurs at home 113-103 on the back of CJ McCollum’s 32 points, before upsetting the Clippers 105-101 in LA. Brandon Ingram followed up a 27-point showing against the Spurs with a game-high 30 against the Clippers.

The Pels are in the playoffs for the first time in four years.

The 64-18 Suns cruised to the NBA’s best record but lost four of their last six regular-season fixtures with little at stake. Devin Booker is the team’s offensive spearhead, averaging 26.8 points. DeAndre Ayton (17.2 pts, 10.2 reb) is a force at both ends, Chris Paul averages 14.7 points and 10.8 assists on the season and has barely skipped a beat since his return from injury, and Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder complete the starting line-up.

Phoenix won three of their four regular-season games against New Orleans. The Suns prevailed 112-100 in November and 123-110 in January before the Pelicans pegged one back in February, 117-102. Devin Booker (27 pts, 8 ast) led a 131-115 Suns victory at home last month.

The Suns are 32-9 at home this season (19-22 ATS); they went 8-3 in Phoenix during last season’s playoffs. The Pelicans are 18-25 on the road (22-21 ATS).

After surviving two sudden-death games in the past four days, this shapes as a daunting series opener for the Pels. The Suns have had a week’s rest and will be primed to open their post-season campaign in authoritative style.

Best Bet: Handicap – Suns -10.5 @ $1.93

Same Game Multi: Margin – Suns 16+; Total – Over 221.5; Devin Booker Points – Over 27.5 @ $7.54