Kings vs Pelicans Predictions, Picks, Odds for Tonight's NBA Playoff Game

The final 'win and your in' playoff spot goes tonight as the New Orleans Pelicans host the Sacramento Kings. With the spread leaving little to choose between the two sides, our NBA betting picks believe one Pels player will struggle to get going offensively. Find out why below!

Apr 19, 2024 • 18:22 ET • 4 min read
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This article contains predictions for an old game!

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Brandon Ingram New Orleans Pelicans NBA
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Injury luck is too often discounted in praising postseason success. This year’s Play-In Tournament has offered distinct reminders before the playoffs even begin, most notably with Zion Williamson’s hamstring injury.

Losing Williamson obviously lessens the New Orleans Pelicans’ chances of snagging the last playoff spot, but they are also going up against a shorthanded Sacramento Kings rotation, one down two key contributors. These absences lessen the quality of basketball, but they also increase the holes for us to exploit to find betting value on tonight's Kings vs. Pelicans bets.

Let’s trust the more proven superstars in our free NBA picks as we dig into this evening's Kings vs. Pelicans predictions.

Kings vs Pelicans predictions

My best bet
Brandon Ingram Under 19.5 points (-105 at DraftKings)

Best odds available in your region

My analysis

In theory, Brandon Ingram should get more looks in Zion Williamson’s absence. The dynamic power forward took 27 field goals on Tuesday night before he had to leave with just minutes left. Ingram took only 12.

But even with Williamson sidelined, Ingram’s minutes will not jump a ton. He is recovering from injury and was held to 25 minutes against the Lakers. That may tick upward, but Ingram will still be on a proverbial pitch count.

To make matters worse, Ingram has not looked like his usual prolific-scoring self since he returned from a knee bruise. Simply enough, he has not been as aggressive as would be expected with these stakes. Even New Orleans Pelicans head coach Willie Green acknowledged on Thursday that Ingram is “knocking off some rust.” It has been only two games, but he has shot just 47.6% in those games. Most concerning, in two games of massive importance, Ingram has taken only 21 total shots.

Before his injury, Ingram was taking 16 field goals per game, including 3.8 threes, compared to four total in these two games of note. On that kind of workload, Ingram was averaging 20.9 points. Expecting him to come within a point of that average while he is barely shooting the ball — at least relatively speaking — is simply foolish. The books have misplaced this faith in Ingram.

That faith looks even more absurd when remembering the Sacramento Kings have defenders like Harrison Barnes and De’Aaron Fox to hound Ingram.

When healthy, Brandon Ingram is a joy to watch. He is a pure scorer. But he is not healthy, he lost some lower-body strength during his four-week absence, and he does not look like the matchup nightmare that has defined his career. Zion’s absence will only highlight those struggles.

Kings vs Pelicans same-game parlay (SGP)

Brandon Ingram Under 19.5 points

Domantas Sabonis Over 18.5 points

Under 211.5

Without Williamson, the Pelicans do not have anyone who can defend Domantas Sabonis. He is too strong for Ingram and too fast for Jonas Valanciunas; he is too tall for 6-foot-7 Herb Jones and too savvy for Larry Nance Jr.’s athleticism.

Golden State had Draymond Green and Trayce Jackson-Davis to pester Sabonis, holding him to 16 points. He took only two free throws, down from his season average of five. If Sabonis had drawn a few more fouls against overmatched defenders, he would have cleared this points prop. He will face overmatched defenders in New Orleans.

Sabonis’s game is not exactly high-paced. Without Williamson, the Pelicans’ offense may not be, either. It played slower without him this season, by about 1.5 possessions per game. Add in the stress of this single-elimination game and doubting this total makes too much sense.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

Kings vs Pelicans odds

Kings vs Pelicans live odds

Kings vs Pelicans opening odds

  • Spread: Sacramento +1.5 | New Orleans -1.5
  • Moneyline: Sacramento +104 | New Orleans -115
  • Over/Under: Over 218.5 | Under 218.5

Kings vs Pelicans spread and Over/Under analysis

  • Zion Williamson’s injury jumped this spread to favoring Sacramento by 1 or 1.5, depending on your sportsbook, after it opened favoring New Orleans by 2. It should be mentioned that the Pelicans’ net rating was actually half a point better in 12 games without Williamson this regular season than in the 70 games with him, the defensive improvement outpacing the offensive step back.
  • That difference without Williamson helps explain the total falling to 211.5 after opening at 218.5.
  • In the nine games to close the regular season since Malik Monk’s injury, the Kings went 6-3 against the spread and six of the nine games cashed their Unders.

Kings vs Pelicans trend

New Orleans went 8-4 ATS without Williamson this season. Find more NBA betting trends for Kings vs. Pelicans.

Kings vs Pelicans game info

Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
Date: Friday, 4-19-2024
Tip-off: 9:30 p.m. ET

Kings vs Pelicans latest injuries

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