• Basis playoff betting is the classic battle between getting your money in before the public adjusts and dealing with the variance of regular-season to playoff ball. Sometimes you can get both things right and make a killing and the good news is that we are generally likely to get one of the two things very right and the other somewhat right. And if all the bad happens as long as we don’t get too nuts we have a long way to go but also the bottom line is when you see a shot you take a shot. I’m definitely seeing some shots so let’s have some fun.

    *Note: I wanted to get these plays out before markets moved and I’m going to swing back through and add more write ups.

    Date Published: Thursday, April 18, 8:45 AM

    Pelicans +1.5 (-110) * 1.65 units

    I wasn’t making plays back on Tuesday but if you saw my analysis on Twitter of the Kings win over the Warriors it was basically a toss up game that happened the way I thought it would if Sacramento was going to pull it out. Keon Ellis, defense and all that. Golden State has had the stench of death on them for a while and that helped too. Sacramento got much needed momentum out of the win and here we are.

    Right on cue the bad news hit New Orleans and Zion Williamson is out. Brandon Ingram hasn’t had highlights for a quick minute. The public is full on panicked about New Orleans while Sacramento loses some of the stench that has been lingering for a month or two, and the reality for both squads is most definitely in the middle.

    To get to the meat and potatoes part of this check out the clip below of Zion talking about Herb Jones and Dyson Daniels, who have each had their part in causing De’Aaron Fox to have 5/18, 10/25 and 1/10 shooting nights. Fox was able to counterbalance those ugly marks with 50+ percent shooting in the other two losses Sacramento had to New Orleans for a heavy 36-of-88 (40.9%) mark. Of course, Sacramento lost all five times to New Orleans in the regular-season.

    The player that Zion didn’t mention who I wonder about is José Alvarado as Fox and Sacramento in general is way too caught up in the victim card foul game. On the road if Alvarado, who has slayed a still near prime Chris Paul in playoff action, get some cooperation from refs in a physically called game you have the conditions for frustrated offense.

    Jonas Valanciunas can stop bull rushes from Domantas Sabonis and by definition can’t really fall for too many pump fakes, so you don’t expect a high-end game out of Sabonis, but given a general history of decent play we expect him to keep it up.

    As far as Ellis goes, who has changed this team dynamic, he has struggled with bigger players due to a lighter lengthy frame but the only player who has the strength to expose that is CJ McCollum — and he doesn’t have the step to truly make Ellis pay — but he has the capability of doing his part to diminish the benefit Ellis is bringing to the Kings.

    When you add up all of the additional size that New Orleans has, though a lot of it is lanky and Ellis will have the ability to slide underneath any of those guys and beat them to the spot, it could still be the case that they can finish over the top of him. Advantage: New Orleans. The Golden State game had his name written all over it and this one might go either way.

    Harrison Barnes and Keegan Murray do have a nice little speed and strength combo against the inflatable wacky arms balloon guys but if Fox gets throttled and Sabonis can’t really feast inside because of JV and Larry Nance … then Sacramento will need to do a good job on the road letting this duo initiate or at least be secondary options on more than half of the half-court sets.

    In other words no fumbling around with Fox, Ellis, Davion Mitchell and Sabonis if things grind to a halt.

    If this wasn’t the playoffs I would probably pass a match up like this in terms of betting but because I have covered Sacramento so closely I figured hey why not let’s make a small play. And given the number of options that could conceivably slow Fox I do feel there is an edge on the New Orleans side as a slight underdog at the time of my bet.

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