Pelicans vs Thunder Prediction & Same Game Parlay picks: Jonas Valanciunas bullies the Thunder at +503 odds

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Germantas Kneita


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Like most Lithuanians, I started watching basketball from the age of six. I'm based out in London and played basketball at the University of Lincoln here in the UK. I had always had an interest in the NBA but things really took off in the summer of 2010. That year Linas Kleiza led Lithuania to 3rd place at the World Championships and signed with the Toronto Raptors to replace the departing Chris Bosh. I've been a Raptors fan since that day and I've not missed a game since. I've been handicapping games for more than a decade, specializing in player props. For Germantas Kneita media enquiries, please email
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Considering what was supposed to be a one-sided game, the first contest between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Oklahoma City Thunder was wildly entertaining. The Thunder are the youngest #1 seed in NBA history, and you get the sense that the visitors are ready to pounce on this. We will see if they can tie the series up tonight before Game 3 in New Orleans. You can check out all of our NBA picks for today’s games, but for now, let’s jump into my Game 2 Pelicans vs Thunder Same Game Parlay picks.

Pelicans +7.5 (-108)

Valanciunas over 11.5 rebounds (-102)

Holmgren over 1.5 made threes (-110)

Same Game Parlay odds: +503

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New Orleans Pelicans +7.5 over Oklahoma City Thunder (-108)

The Pelicans were one CJ McCollum miss from pulling off an upset in Game 1 of the series. I think they will be able to stay competitive in this game, too. For one, they have a lengthy guard defender in Herbert Jones who matches up perfectly against Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Then on the inside, the Thunder have no answer for Jonas Valanciunas and his size. Overall, the Pelicans had 10 more offensive rebounds than OKC in the opening game. Picking up second-chance points should help them hang around in this one. They have enough tools there to avoid a blowout and maybe even cause an upset, considering they did manage to beat the Thunder on their home floor in the regular season.

You can also read our Heat vs Celtics Same Game Parlay for today’s other matchup on TNT

Jonas Valanciunas over 11.5 rebounds (-102)

One person largely responsible for the offensive rebounds for the Pelicans was Valanciunas. He grabbed 9 in the game and finished with 20 boards in total. Look for him to continue dominating Holmgren in the paint and getting great post position to secure misses. The Thunder finished the season 28th in rebounding percentage, and the Pelicans will be smart to make them pay for their lack of size. With Zion Williamson out too, Valanciunas should see no shortage of time on the hardwood and should push past the 30-minute mark. Considering these teams finished the season 4th and 6th in defensive rating, there will be no shortage of misses here. The Lithuanian is the biggest man on the floor and he should benefit from this through his rebounding stat line.

Chet Holmgren over 1.5 made threes (-110)

The best way the Thunder can force Valanciunas off the floor is to punish him from the perimeter. It is also an area of the floor where Holmgren is most likely to have success against him. The Thunder rookie made 2-of-6 three-pointers in Game 1. With Valanciunas playing drop coverage on Thunder pick-and-rolls, the opportunity should be there throughout the night in Game 2 for Holmgren to pop to the three-point line. He finished the season as a 37% shooter, so a similar number of attempts in this game should see him go over this line. I expect him to be a focal point of the attack because if he can heat up from outside, the Pelicans would have to make changes to their defensive plans. I look for the hosts to go to him on the perimeter early and often to counter what Valanciunas brings to the table.

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