New Orleans Pelicans vs Los Angeles Lakers
9:30am, Smoothie King Center

The Pelicans and Lakers have quickly become modern-day rivals, so it’s only fitting that the seventh seed should be up for grabs when they meet on Wednesday. 

Aside from the obvious Anthony Davis and Brandon Ingram angles, the Lakers have largely held New Orleans’ number this year – notably beating them for superior seeding right before the In-Season Tournament.

Most recently, the Lakers dominated 124-108 when these two sides met only a couple of days ago, while it’s worth noting LeBron James has averaged close to 29 points against the Pels this year.

Davis’ injury status will be worth monitoring, but I do think the bookies have nailed this market with the Lakers favoured only slightly by a single point. 

Zion Williamson is making his first postseason debut, which should create a buzz going up against a team that just about every other fan base wants to see lose. 

Statistically, the Lakers hold the edge in terms of shooting, but I think their defence could prove vulnerable against a deep Pelicans lineup that can really spread the ball and challenge teams in transition. 

With a serious home crowd advantage – one that is often very underrated – I like the Pelicans to make their way back to the first round. 

Tip: Back the Pelicans to Cover the Line (+1 Point) @ $1.90

Sacramento Kings vs Golden State Warriors
12:00pm, Golden 1 Center

Two California foes meet for the fifth time on Wednesday with the ledger all square at two wins apiece. 

It’s largely been a disappointing season for two sides that had their sights set higher than a ‘win or go home’ play-in, but given their familiarity with one another, this rubber match should at least provide plenty of fireworks. 

Kings coach Mike Brown was a former Warriors assistant, so he knows full well that the Dubs will be out to disrupt his sides’ offensive flow that primarily runs through De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. 

Given their class and Hall of Fame talent, there isn’t a team better equipped to handle the high-scoring, feisty Kings than Golden State, but it’s tough to know which version of Sacramento we might see with Malik Monk out with an MCL sprain. 

Looking back, most games between these two sides have been tight contests this year, including their most recent meeting in January that saw the Kings prevail 134-133. 

We’ve seen Mike Brown throw different looks to try and stop Steph Curry on each occasion, but to no avail. The superstar shooter went off for 41 points when they first met earlier in the year, and as we’ve seen time and time again, No. 30 can often be a different beast come playoff time. 

I have no doubt that this game will be close throughout, but it’s hard to back against Golden State’s expertise on the road – especially in these must-win situations. 

Tip: Back the Warriors to Cover the Line (-2 Points) @ $1.90