Kings vs. Pelicans Final Score Prediction for Western Conference Play-In Tournament (Take New Orleans as a dog)

NBA betting preview, prediction and best bet for Kings-Pelicans. 
Apr 14, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) brings the ball up the court against the Lakers.
Apr 14, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) brings the ball up the court against the Lakers. / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans went 5-0 against the Sacramento Kings during the regular season. New Orleans will need another win over Sacramento to keep its season alive when the two meet in Friday’s play-in tournament with the No. 8 seed on the line. 

However, the Pelicans will have to beat the Kings without star Zion Williamson, who scored 40 points in Tuesday’s play-in tournament loss to the Los Angeles Lakers but suffered a hamstring injury. Sacramento kept its season alive with a 118-94 victory over the Golden State Warriors and is now laying a short number on the road against the Pelicans after Willamson’s injury. 

Who comes out on top? Here’s the betting breakdown of the elimination game with a best bet. 

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Kings vs. Pelicans odds, spread and total

Kings vs. Pelicans how to watch

  • Date: Friday, April 19
  • Game time: 9:30 p.m. EST 
  • Venue: Smoothie King Center
  • How to watch (TV): TNT
  • Kings record: 46-36
  • Pelicans record: 49-33

Kings vs. Pelicans injury report

Sacramento Kings

  • Malik Monk (knee): out

New Orleans Pelicans

  • Zion Williamson (hamstring strain): out 

Kings vs. Pelicans key players to watch

Sacramento Kings

Keegan Murray: One of the heroes of Sacramento’s play-in tournament win over the Warriors, Murray scored a team-high 32 points on 10-of-20 shooting including an 8-of-13 performance from downtown. He was one rebound shy of a double-double. Murray has now drained five or more 3-pointers in three of his last four games dating back to the final week of the regular season. 

New Orleans Pelicans

Brandon Ingram: Ingram returned for the regular season finale after missing nearly a month. He’ll need to be at his best with Williamson sidelined, especially on the offensive end. In two games since returning from injury, Ingram has combined for 24 points on 10-of-21 shooting and nine rebounds. 

Kings vs. Pelicans prediction and pick

New Orleans was the best team in the NBA as an underdog this season, going 20-11-1 ATS. Stylistically, New Orleans has a big advantage in this matchup from the perimeter and it’s a big reason why they won all five matchups over the Kings during the regular season.

New Orleans, the No. 6 defense in net rating, is No. 2 in the NBA in defending triples, allowing opponents to connect at just a 35% clip from downtown. Sacramento is third in the league in 3-point attempts per game (39.3) and has struggled shooting from distance against the Pelicans. In five games during the regular season, New Orleans held Sacramento to 33.3% from beyond the arc (71-of-213). 

Williamson’s injury cast doubts on the Pelicans’ chances, though. The former No. 1 overall pick averaged 23 points per game against a middle-of-the-road Sacramento defense. However, the Pelicans went 7-5 overall without Williamson this season, which includes a 133-100 victory over Sacramento in January. 

Sacramento plays at an average offensive pace and New Orleans can still force missed shots with or without Williamson in the lineup. The Pelicans, a top-10 defensive rebounding unit, can still set the tone in this matchup and have been great in this spot as an underdog. Take points with the Pelicans. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.