- When: Monday, December 4 at 10:00 PM ET
- Who: New Orleans Pelicans at Sacramento Kings
- Where: Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA
The Sacramento Kings are set to host the New Orleans Pelicans in the first Western Conference showdown of the NBA In-Season Tournament.
Having already faced off twice this season, the Pelicans claimed victory in both encounters in New Orleans, covering the spread each time.
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With relative full strength, bolstered by the return of key players CJ McCollum and Trey Murphy III, the Pelicans are poised for a strong performance in this critical tournament match.
Despite the absence of Larry Nance Jr. for a significant part of December, the Pelicans are looking to capitalize on the offensive prowess of Murphy III and McCollum.
New Orleans, currently ranking 19th in Offensive Rating on the season, has seen improvement in recent weeks, posting a robust 119.6 rating.
Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are a dynamic duo contributing to the recent offensive surge. Ingram particularly shining against the Kings, averaging 24.8 points, five rebounds, and 4.9 assists in their last 10 matchups.
Defensively, the Pelicans have ascended to fifth place in Defensive Rating (111.2), showcasing an effective team effort in rebounding and forcing turnovers.
While individual defensive statistics might not stand out, the collective strategy has propelled the Pelicans' defensive success.
Conversely, the Sacramento Kings have showcased an impressive performance lately, securing wins against formidable opponents like the Golden State Warriors and the defending champion Denver Nuggets.
The Kentucky Connection is on a string 🪡 pic.twitter.com/JAgcXTxbAD
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) December 3, 2023
With De'Aaron Fox leading the charge, the Kings have been a different team, boasting a 9-4 record with him on the court.
In exceptional form since his return from injury, Fox is averaging 30 points, 6.8 assists, and 4.8 rebounds in the last 10 games.
In the two previous matchups against the Pelicans this season, Fox scored 26 and 14 points, and while his recent form suggests potential for over props, historical trends indicate a cautious approach.
The Pelicans have dominated recent meetings, covering and winning in five of the last seven games.
Considering the Pelicans' resurgence and getting healthy at a crucial time, taking them at +145 seems like an enticing opportunity.
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Let's look at another market in this game, the total points.
The Kings' struggle against the Pelicans' size adds another layer to the matchup, making the Pelicans a favorable pick, especially with the points on the road.
|Over 235 Points
|Under 235 Points
A first-quarter bet might be worth exploring for those leaning toward the Kings, given their strong starts at home this season.
Additionally, keep an eye on pairing the King's first quarter with the Pelican's moneyline if you want to place a same-game parlay.
With his scoring ability in the midrange, where the Kings struggle defensively, Brandon Ingram presents a compelling bet to go Over 20.5 points.
This angle of Brandon Ingram’s and-1 🤯pic.twitter.com/sSgAR2COG5
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) November 30, 2023
Ingram's consistent performance against the Kings, combined with his recent scoring average, makes this prop attractive.
Consider pivoting to Over 31.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists if his points line increases to 21.5.
Regarding the overall outcome, the Pelicans' money line at +145 provides value, and with expectations of a high-scoring game, targeting the over 235 points is a strategic move.
The Pelicans, positioned for an upset, present an intriguing bet for this NBA In-Season Tournament matchup.
This game has all the makings of a high-scoring, exciting matchup, so I love targeting the total point prop of 235 points in this one.
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