New Orleans Pelicans vs Oklahoma City Thunder Prediction, 12/31/2020 NBA Pick, Tips and Odds
Game: New Orleans Pelicans vs Oklahoma City Thunder
Date: Thursday, December 31, 2020
Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma
Odds/Point Spread: New Orleans (-4.5)
The Oklahoma City Thunder (1-2) host the New Orleans Pelicans (2-2) at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Thursday. New Orleans opens this contest as 4.5-point favorites. The total has been set at 217.5.
The New Orleans Pelicans faced off with the Phoenix Suns and went home with a loss by a final score of 111-86 in their last game. New Orleans ended having earned a 48.1% FG percentage (37 out of 77) and converted 3 of 24 shots from beyond the perimeter. At the free throw line, the Pelicans converted 9 of their 18 attempts for a percentage of 50.0%. Regarding getting rebounds, they compiled 41 with 7 of them being of the offensive variety. They also doled out 18 dimes for the contest while having 8 steals and 3 rejections. In regard to defending, New Orleans allowed the other team to shoot 44.0% from the field on 37 of 84 shooting. Phoenix distributed 24 assists and had 7 steals in this contest. In addition, the Suns collected 43 boards (12 offensive, 31 defensive) and had 4 rejections. Phoenix walked away from this one shooting 94.7% at the free throw line by burying 18 of 19 tries. They converted 19 of their 47 tries from 3-point land.
Zion Williamson is a player who was a major factor in this contest. He ended up scoring 20 points on 9 of 13 shooting. He played for 28:49 mins and pulled down 2 boards. Williamson finished shooting 69.2% from the floor and also totaled 2 assists. An additional guy that played a role in this game for the Pelicans was Brandon Ingram. He pulled down 6 boards and also collected 6 assists. He walked away from this one shooting 54.5% from the floor for this game by shooting 6-of-11 (13 points). When all was said and done, Ingram saw the court for 28:14 minutes.
New Orleans will enter this contest with a mark of 2-2 on the year. The Pelicans are shooting 29.6% on 3-point shots (37 of 125) and 66.0% from the charity stripe. They average 98.8 pts per contest (30th in basketball) while shooting 44.4% from the field. They are losing possession via turnover 18.0 times per game and as a unit are committing 16.8 fouls on a nightly basis. As a unit, New Orleans is snagging 45.8 boards per game and has earned 81 dimes so far this year, which is 21st in the NBA in terms of passing. On the defensive end of the court, the Pelicans are forcing their opponents into 16.3 turnovers per contest while drawing 22.0 fouls. The Pelicans defensively are giving up an opponent shooting percentage of 44.8% (65 of 88) and they concede 40.0 rebounds per contest as a unit. They rank 25th in basketball in giving up assists to their opponents with 105 surrendered so far this season. They are conceding 36.1% on shots from beyond the perimeter and they are ranked 3rd in the NBA in points per game allowed (104.0).
For their last game, the Oklahoma City Thunder took a defeat with a final score of 118-107 against the Orlando Magic. The Thunder were able to snag 37 defensive rebounds and 10 offensive rebounds totaling 47 for this game. They blocked 7 tries while recording 3 steals in the matchup. The Magic committed 23 fouls for the contest which got the Thunder to the free throw line for a total of 19 attempts. They were able to make 10 of those for a percentage of 52.6%. With respect to shots from beyond the arc, Oklahoma City made 11 of 34 tries (32.4%). When the final whistle was blown, the Thunder finished 43 out of 87 from the field which had them shooting 49.4%. The Thunder permitted the Magic to make 49 of 96 tries from the floor which left them with a rate of 51.0% in this contest. They finished shooting 31.8% from beyond the perimeter by going 7 of 22 and ended up shooting 13 out of 16 from the charity stripe (81.3%). In reference to how they rebounded, Oklahoma City allowed Orlando to get 46 in all (12 on the offensive side).
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ended up being a major contributor for the Thunder for this contest. He made 8 out of 10 in this contest giving him a rate of 80.0%, which got him 23 points. Gilgeous-Alexander collected 7 rebounds in his 33:20 mins of playing time and earned 7 dimes in the game. An additional guy that ended up playing a role for Oklahoma City was Isaiah Roby. He was able to score 19 points in 28:06 mins on the hardwood by going 9 of 12 from the floor for the contest. Roby ended the game having shot 75.0% from the field in addition to earning 2 assists and 7 boards.
Oklahoma City has a mark of 1-2 so far this season. When it comes to executing on offense, the Thunder are hitting on 47.1% from the field, which has them ranked 11th in basketball. Oklahoma City has accounted for 325 pts on the season (108.3 per game) and they snag 46.0 rebounds per game. They are earning an assist 22.0 times per game (25th in basketball) and they lose possession via turnover 18.0 times per game. The Thunder commit 18.3 fouls per game while shooting 69.4% from the charity stripe. The Thunder defensively are ranked 15th in the NBA in points given up per game with 111.7. They have relinquished 25.7 dimes and 45.3 total boards per game, ranking them 19th and 15th in the league. The Oklahoma City defense gives up 36.7% on three-point shots (33 of 90) and their opposition makes 71.0% of their free throw attempts. They have forced 13.7 turnovers on a nightly basis and allow teams to shoot 46.9% from the field (18th in the league).
Who will win tonight's NBA game against the spread?
Guy Bruhn's Pick: Take Oklahoma City (+4.5)
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