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Oklahoma City a big betting favorite against New Orleans

Oklahoma City secured the No. 1 seed in a loaded Western Conference last week and had to wait for its postseason opponent until play-in games were completed. After New Orleans defeated Sacramento, the Thunder’s first-round pick was set in stone – and it appears to be a favorable one.

Mark Daigneault’s side has had a lot of success against the Pelicans this season, and that is reflected in the pre-series odds. Oklahoma City and New Orleans tip off in OKC on Sunday night, and the Thunder opened as eight-point favorites. Outside of Boston and Miami, that’s the highest spread of any first-round game in the NBA playoffs.

In addition to the opening game, Oklahoma City also has great chances to win the series as a whole. According to Shams Charania and FanDuel, the Thunder enter the seven-game series at -650 to advance to the second round. Again, the only odds that are more drastic are the Celtics at -8000.

Oklahoma City is the No. 1 seed in the toughest conference for a reason, and Vegas seems to like their chances. The Pelicans will likely be without Zion Williamson for the first few games, which could hurt the team’s operation on both ends of the court. Williamson looked like the team’s clear best player before going down in the first play-in game.

In addition to solid odds against the Pelicans, Oklahoma City is also highly respected in terms of championship odds. The Thunder have +1300 odds to win the NBA Finals, which is good for third place in the postseason. Oklahoma City trails only the Nuggets and Celtics, who are at +320 and +120, respectively. If the Thunder can take care of business against New Orleans and have some time to rest before the second round, that would be ideal.

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