Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns welcome Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans to town for a high-profile matchup on Tuesday evening. The Suns toppled the Sacramento Kings on the road in their last contest, improving to 2-1 on the season. The Pelicans are also 2-1 with a home win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday evening. Dario Saric (quad) is listed as probable for the Suns, with Abdel Nader (concussion) and Jalen Smith (ankle) ruled out. Wenyen Gabriel (knee/quadriceps) is out for the Pelicans.
Tip-off is at 10 p.m. ET in Phoenix. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Suns as 2.5-point home favorites, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 222 in the latest Pelicans vs. Suns odds. Before you make any Suns vs. Pelicans picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks last season. The model is up nearly $8,100 over the past two seasons. Dating back to last season, it is on a stunning 62-36 roll on top-rated picks against the spread, returning almost $2,200 on those selections alone. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Pelicans vs. Suns spread: Suns -2.5
- Pelicans vs. Suns over-under: 222 points
- Pelicans vs. Suns money line: Suns -140, Pelicans +120
- NO: The Pelicans are 18-14-2 against the spread in the last 34 road games
- PHX: The Suns are 14-21 against the spread in the last 35 home games
Why the Pelicans can cover
The Pelicans are an entertaining young team led by a pair of budding stars. Williamson is one of the rising standouts in the NBA, and the former No. 1 overall pick is averaging 21.7 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game this season. Brandon Ingram, who signed a highly lucrative contract in restricted free agency this summer, is averaging 26.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game. In addition to scoring acumen, the Pelicans are potent on the offensive glass, snatching 26.7 percent of available rebounds, and New Orleans is effective in getting to the free throw line on a per-possession basis.
Defensively, the Pelicans are making their bones in athletic categories, including a top-flight defensive rebound rate (80.5 percent) and a very strong turnover rate (17.7 percent) in three games this season.
Why the Suns can cover
The Suns are led by an elite backcourt pairing with Booker and Chris Paul. After averaging 26.6 points and 6.5 assists per game last season, Booker is off to a strong start, including 22.7 points per game in the early going. Paul is adding 12.7 points and 9.7 assists per game, with Mikal Bridges breaking out to the tune of 16.3 points on 45 percent shooting from three-point distance.
Offensively, ball security has been a strength for Phoenix, turning the ball over on only 12.9 percent of possessions. The defense has also been strong, holding opponents to just a 49.6 percent effective field goal shooting mark and 102.7 points per 100 possessions.
How to make Pelicans vs. Suns picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with the simulations showing the teams combining for 224 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time. You can only see that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Suns vs. Pelicans? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Pelicans vs. Suns spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.