Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans was the series that, on paper, looked about as lopsided as any heading into the 2022 NBA playoffs. A lot changed on Tuesday, however. After top-seeded Phoenix took care of business in Game 1, No. 8 seed New Orleans stole Game 2, and Phoenix star Devin Booker went down with a hamstring injury. Booker is confirmed out for Game 3 on Friday, and could miss additional time. Now the series shifts to "The Big Easy" with New Orleans looking to take a 2-1 series lead.
Smoothie King Center will host this 9:30 p.m. ET tipoff. Phoenix is listed at -2 in the latest Suns vs. Pelicans odds from Caesars Sportsbook. The over-under for total points is set at 216. Before locking in any Pelicans vs. Suns picks, be sure to check out the NBA playoff predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's advanced computer simulation model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past three-plus seasons. The model enters the first full week of the 2022 NBA playoffs on a stunning 86-56 roll on all top-rated NBA picks, returning almost $2,400. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Suns vs. Pelicans, and just locked in its picks and NBA predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Here are several NBA betting lines and trends for Pelicans vs. Suns:
- Suns vs. Pelicans spread: Phoenix -2
- Suns vs. Pelicans over-under: 216 points
- Suns vs. Pelicans money line: Phoenix -135, New Orleans +115
- PHO: Suns are 4-1 ATS in their last five conference quarterfinals games
- NO: Pelicans are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 Friday games
Why the Suns can cover
Booker's offensive prowess will be difficult to replace, but Phoenix is more than a one-man show. In fact, it was Chris Paul who put the team on his back in the Game 1 win, scoring 30 points and dishing out 10 assists. He shot a sizzling 75 percent from the field and 67 percent from 3-point range in that game. He can take over a game with his shooting or passing. The Suns will lean on multiple players to help replace Booker's production, but Cameron Johnson is the name to watch. He topped the 20-point mark several times late in the regular season, and he certainly has that kind of upside in this one.
Some of the betting trends in this game work in Phoenix's favor as well. The Suns were 25-16 against the spread on the road this season. And they thrived as small favorites, going 12-3 ATS when favored between -1 and -3.5. Phoenix has also covered four times in six tries against New Orleans this year, so there's a lot of evidence it should be able to handle this small number.
Why the Pelicans can cover
Forward Brandon Ingram is an instinctive and impressive scorer who can get a bucket from multiple spots on the floor. The Duke product has the length to shoot over defenders but can also play through contact at the rim. The 2020 All-Star can dominate his matchup one-on-one with an array of moves and is averaging a team-high 27.5 points with eight rebounds and 6.5 assists through two games. In the Game 2 victory, Ingram dropped 37 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists.
Guard CJ McCollum is a fearless three-level scorer who is an all-around shooter with a consistent mid-range game. The Lehigh product knows how to create space from defenders to have open looks and he can also set his teammates up for easy shots. In this series, McCollum is logging 24 points, eight rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game. In his last contest, he amassed 23 points, eight rebounds and nine assists.
How to make Suns vs. Pelicans picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the point total, projecting the teams to combine for 228 points. The model also says one side of the spread has all the value. You can only see the model's picks at SportsLine.
So who wins Pelicans vs. Suns? And which side of the spread has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.