Thunder vs. Pelicans NBA expert prediction and odds for Tuesday, March 26 (Back OKC)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for Tuesday night's matchup between the Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2).
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2). / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder are looking to stay in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference on Tuesday night when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans. 

New Orleans is suddenly in the mix for the No. 4 seed in the West, winning eight of its last 10 games to leapfrog the Los Angeles Clippers. The team has gotten some great play out of former No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson, and the Pelicans rank sixth in the league in defensive rating and fourth in net rating this season. 

Should the Thunder be concerned about falling in the standings with this matchup on the road?

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Let’s dive into the odds, injury reports, key players and more for Tuesday’s Western Conference showdown: 

Thunder vs. Pelicans odds, spread and total

Thunder vs. Pelicans how to watch

  • Date: Tuesday, March 26
  • Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Smoothie King Center
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports Oklahoma, Bally Sports New Orleans
  • Thunder record: 49-21
  • Pelicans record: 44-27

Thunder vs. Pelicans injury reports

Thunder injury report

  • Ousmane Dieng – out
  • Adam Flagler – out
  • Keyontae Johnson – out

Pelicans injury report

  • Dyson Daniels – out
  • Malcolm Hill – out
  • Brandon Ingram – out
  • EJ Liddell – out
  • Dereon Seabron – out
  • Cody Zeller – available 

Thunder vs. Pelicans key players to watch

Oklahoma City Thunder

Jalen Williams: One of the best young players in the NBA, Williams is averaging 19.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game this season while shooting an impressive 54.1 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from beyond the arc He’s averaging 21.2 points per game over his last five contests. 

New Orleans Pelicans

Zion Williamson: Williamson had a historic game on Sunday, scoring 36 points on 13-of-14 shooting while adding seven rebounds and six dimes in a win over the Detroit Pistons. He’s going to be a handful for OKC to deal with, and the former top pick had 20 points, 10 rebounds and eight dimes in his lone game against the Thunder this season. 

Thunder vs. Pelicans prediction and pick

New Orleans was able to handle business against Miami and Detroit without Brandon Ingram, moving to 6-2 with him out of the lineup this season. 

However, I’m not sold on that happening again on Tuesday night, especially against a Thunder team that is in the mix for the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference. 

As good as the Pelicans have been this season, OKC still outranks them in net rating (No. 2 in the NBA), defensive rating (No. 5 in the NBA) and offensive rating (No. 5 in the NBA). 

New Orleans enters this game with a 5-3 against the spread record as a home underdogs this season, but this spread is sos short we almost have to bet on the Pels to win this game straight up. 

I think that’s going to be a tough task without Ingram, especially since the Thunder won by 24 points in New Orleans when Zion Wiliamson sat earlier this season. The margin for error for New Orleans is simply much shorter tonight. 

I’ll lay the two points with OKC. 

Pick: Thunder -2 (-110)

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.