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NBA play-in preview and tips: Oklahoma City Thunder at New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder meet this evening with the winner moving on to face the Minnesota Timberwolves for a shot at the playoffs.

As the two lower-ranking Western Conference teams in the play-in tournament, the Pelicans and the Thunder clash this evening know they'll have to win two games to advance to the playoffs.

The reward for all of your hard work is to then, most probably, get dumped out in four or five games by the Denver Nuggets.
These two sides met on four occasions in the regular season and it was the Pelicans who came out on top, winning the mini-series 3-1. But it's worth noting the away side won three of the four games.
The Thunder came to New Orleans and won 110-96 in a game that did have play-in tournament implications, so they'll come here with the belief they can progress.
OKC have been consistently undervalued for the past two years and because of that, they've been a solid bet on their travels. The Thunder are 49-31ATS in their last 80 road games.

Winning those games has been a different story as they've gone just 16-25SU across the season, but the numbers do at least reflect they can be competitive.

The Thunder are 10-4ATS in their last 14 meetings with the Pelicans and more importantly, they're 6-0ATS when the teams meet on this court.

Over the last two seasons, the Thunder have won here, 111-110, despite being an +8 underdog, and they've also covered as a +5 and a +4 underdog.

This is a young and energetic OKC team and although they have issues to iron out, they are an explosive offence. The Thunder rank fifth in the league with 117.5 points per game, whilst the Pelicans rank 17th.

The Thunder have shown the ability to hang with the best of them when it matters and in the first two play-in games, neither of the favourites led at the end of regulation time. It's likely we'll get another competitive game in New Orleans.

Standout trends

Thunder are 15-7-2ATS in their last 24 games as a road underdog of 5.0-10.5.
Thunder are 46-22-3ATS in their last 71 games as a road underdog.
Thunder are 6-0ATS in their last six visits to New Orleans.
Pelicans are 0-4ATS in their last 4 games playing on two days of rest.

Suggested bets

Oklahoma City Thunder +5

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