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

The 2024 NBA Playoffs bracket has officially been set, with the top seed Thunder taking on the eighth-seeded Pelicans in the opening round (Game 1: Sunday, 9:30 PM ET). We’ll dive right into this exciting first-round best-of-seven, providing the BetMGM odds, stats, trends and best bets moving forward.

The Thunder defied all expectations this season. The youngest team in charge finished with the best record in the loaded West, while maintaining a top five ranking in both offensive and defensive class. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had an MVP-caliber season, while Chet Holmgren would have easily won Rookie of the Year without Victor Wembanyama. Mark Daigneault should walk away with Coach of the Year honors.

Willie Green also had a strong year with the Pelicans. Despite multiple injuries, the Pelicans spent most of the season in the top six of 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 continue to defy the odds and pull off an upset series without Zion? Or will the powerhouse Thunder take care of business and advance to the second round?

Let’s get into our Thunder-Pelicans betting preview, where we reveal the odds, stats and trends you need to know, as well as our best bets and props from the top series.

Odds vs Pelicans odds

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

  • Moneyline series: Thunder (-650), Pelicans +450)
  • Game distribution series: Thunder -1.5 (-225)
  • Game distribution series: Pelicans +1.5 (+185)
  • Series of total games: More than 5.5 (+110), less than 5.5 (-130)
  • Game 1: OKC-350 | NO +275 | OKC -8.5 (-105) | Order no. 214.5 (-110)

Picks from the Thunder vs. Pelicans series

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

MORE: See Steph Noh’s All-NBA picks

We’ve already placed a bet on the Thunder -8.5 in Game 1, as Daigneault always seems to have his team prepared – especially when they enjoy a big break. The Thunder went 14-4 this season with a halftime advantage over opponents.

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

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

Thunder vs. Pelicans best prop bets

Our prediction: the Thunder sweeps the series 4-0 (+333). Stake Oklahoma City -2.5 for extra insurance once the series spreads and the moneyline drops, or bet on the ongoing series LESS 5.5 games. We would also like to put some money up”Thunder wins Game 1 and the series“at -250.

In terms of props for long streak players we would lean towards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads the series in points, Jonas Valanciunas leads the series in reboundsAnd Chet Holmgren leads the series in blocks.

MORE NBA PLAYOFFS: Updated Bracket | Final odds

As we mentioned, we’re betting on OKC -8.5 to win Game 1 (-105). The Thunder have gone 23-13 ATS this season as home favorites, while the Pelicans have gone 7-9 ATS when faced with a halftime deficit. Daigneault’s side 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 by odds and see why we’re so happy with the value we’re getting with the Thunder to win the NBA Finals (+1600) and every Western Conference Finals (+650).