Thunder vs. Pelicans odds, series picks, best bets and top props for 2024 NBA Playoffs matchup

The 2024 NBA Playoffs bracket has officially been set, and the first-seed Thunder will take on the eighth-seeded Pelicans in the opening round (Game 1: Sunday, 9:30 p.m. ET). We’ll dive headfirst into this exciting first-round best-of-seven, providing the BetMGM odds, stats, trends, and best bets to advance. 

The Thunder defied all odds this season. The youngest team in the lead finished with the best record in the loaded West, while maintaining a top-five ranking in both offensive and defensive rating. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had an MVP-caliber season, while Chet Holmgren would have easily won Rookie of the Year if not for Victor Wembanyama. Mark Daigneault should run away with Coach of the Year honors. 

Willie Green had a strong year with the Pelicans, as well. Despite enduring multiple injuries, the Pelicans spent most of the season among the top six in the stacked Western Conference. And with Zion Williamson out for the Pels’ win-to-get-in NBA Play-In game against the Kings on Friday, New Orleans answered the bell. 

Can the Pelicans keep defying the odds and mount a series upset without Zion? Or, will the powerhouse Thunder take care of business and cruise to the second round? 

Let’s get to our betting preview for Thunder-Pelicans, revealing the odds, stats, and trends you should know as well as our best bets and top series props.

Thunder vs. Pelicans odds

Here are the latest Thunder-Pelicans odds courtesy of BetMGM, an authorized gaming operator of the NBA.

  • Series moneyline: Thunder (-650), Pelicans +450)
  • Series game spread: Thunder -1.5 (-225)
  • Series game spread: Pelicans +1.5 (+185)
  • Series total games: Over 5.5 (+110), Under 5.5 (-130)
  • Game 1: OKC -350 | NO +275 | OKC -8.5 (-105) | O/U 214.5 (-110)

Thunder vs. Pelicans series picks

The Thunder have won two of their past three meetings with New Orleans, one in which Zion was sidelined and one in which the young star dropped 29 points. OKC went 33-8 at home this season and 36-16 against Western Conference foes. 

MORE: Check out Steph Noh’s All-NBA picks 

We’ve already locked in a bet on the Thunder -8.5 in Game 1, because Daigneault always seems to have his team prepared — especially when enjoying significant rest. The Thunder went 14-4 with a rest advantage over opponents this season.

We also can’t imagine New Orleans breaking off more than one win in this series. That makes the Thunder series game spread (-1.5) at -225 or the total games under 5.5 (-130) rather enticing.

Sure, if the Pels get hot from three-point land one game or Brandon Ingram lights it up from the midrange, they can steal one or possibly even two. But we don’t see OKC dropping any games at home — and we can’t imagine NOLA will maintain enough scoring to keep up with SGA, Holmgren, Jalen Williams, and company. 

Thunder vs. Pelicans best prop bets

Our prediction: the Thunder sweep the series 4-0 (+333). Bet Oklahoma City -2.5 for added insurance once the series spread and moneyline drops, or wager on the series going UNDER 5.5 games. We would also love putting some money on “Thunder win Game 1 and the series” at -250.

In terms of series-long player props, we would lean toward Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leading the series in points, Jonas Valanciunas leading the series in rebounds, and Chet Holmgren leading the series in blocks

MORE NBA PLAYOFFS: Updated bracket | Finals odds

As we already mentioned, we’re betting OKC -8.5 to win Game 1 (-105). The Thunder have gone 23-13 ATS as a home favorite this season, while the Pelicans have gone 7-9 ATS when facing a rest disadvantage. Daigneault’s squad should be able to take care of business early and often in this series.  

If you’re thinking long-term, check out our playoff power rankings based on odds and read about why we love the value we’re getting with the Thunder to win the NBA Finals (+1600) and to win the Western Conference Finals (+650).


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