The Pelicans are travel to Oklahoma City tonight playing the second half of a back to back. The Pelicans will be without Anthony Davis and Nikola Mirotic due to injury as well as E’Twuan Moore who will miss the game for rest. The Thunder have been playing some of their best basketball of the year winning their last three games. This comes after dropping games to the struggling Lakers and Hawks. But the Thunder are playing at home tonight where they play better and have a considerable advantage. The Thunder are in the top 10 of both rebounding percentage and defensive efficiency which I see being the difference in this game. The Pelicans will be without two of their top three rebounders. They also have to rely on Jahlil Okafor to play a lot of minutes against one of the NBAs best centers in Steven Adams which is a huge mismatch. The Thunder will also have the advantage of Paul George matching up against Darius Miller. This game should not be close at all and the line suggests that as well. This game is not going on national tv and the large spread will most likely deter some bettors but I agree with the line and see a blowout here.
It will be too tough for the Pelicans depleted lineup to keep up tonight. The Thunder have one of the deeper teams in the league. Their bench is led by Dennis Schroeder and Nerlens Noel who could arguably be starters elsewhere. The Thunder defense will make it tough for the Pelicans to find any kind of rhythm as they continue to increase their lead. This is where rebounding becomes a huge factor as the Pelicans will not have many second chance opportunities. On the other side the Thunder should have plenty of second chance opportunities. This will allow them to continue to increase their lead as the game goes on. This will be a comfortable 20+ point win for the Thunder.