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The New Orleans Pelicans will play host to the Sacramento Kings in the final play-in game for the NBA playoffs. Can Jonas Valanciunas step up in the absence of Zion Williamson and carry the Pelicans to victory? Ben Rajavuori provides his best bet in Kings vs. Pelicans.

Sacramento Kings vs. New Orleans Pelicans Prop Pick: Will Jonas Valanciunas Step Up for Pelicans Tonight?

The Sacramento Kings travel to New Orleans tonight to take on the Pelicans from the Smoothie King Center in Louisiana. The Kings are coming off and impressive blowout win over the Warriors in game one of the playing tournament, winning 118–94. Meanwhile, the Pelicans played a close game against the Lakers, but it was not enough as they dropped that game 106–110 on Wednesday. Now, these two teams battle it out for the last spot in the playoffs in the Western Conference. The winner will go onto face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs. What should we expect in this game?


  • Date: April 19, 2024
  • Start Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
  • Where to Watch: TNT

Sacramento Kings vs. New Orleans Pelicans Prediction

Not only did the Pelicans lose against the Lakers on Wednesday, but they also suffered a massive blow by losing Zion Williamson to the injury report. The star forward and leading score for the Pelicans with 22.9 points per game suffered a hamstring injury in Wednesday’s game, and will not be able to play tonight. That means the rest of the team will have to step up, including Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, and even Jonas Valanciunas. Jonas Valanciunas is only scoring 12.2 points per game for the Pelicans this year, but he will have a big role in tonight’s game. I expect Valanciunas will play heavy minutes in tonight’s game, as he will be expected to defend and contain Domantas Sabonis. This has been a matchup that Valanciunas has historically done very well in. Valanciunas is a veteran of the NBA who is in his 11th season. This is his third season on the Pelicans, and it has been the lowest-scoring season for him since arriving in New Orleans. He’s only scoring 12.2 points per game and grabbing 8.8 boards per game. However, he has come alive in his matchup against the Kings. The Pelicans and Kings have played a whopping five times this season, and Valanciunas has had good games in all five.

While he has only averaged 23.1 points + rebounds + assists (PRA) on the season, he has averaged 28.6 PRA in his five games against the Kings this season. His line is 23.5 PRA tonight, and I do not believe this line is high enough, especially considering the loss of Zion Williamson. Valanciunas will have to play heavy minutes to help defend against Sabonis and keep the Pelicans in the game with his defense down low. Considering he has already passed his line of 23.5 PRA in all five meetings against the Kings this season, I do not doubt that he can easily do so once again in the biggest game of the season for the Pelicans.

Sacramento Kings vs. New Orleans Pelicans Prop Pick

Pick: Jonas Valanciunas Over 23.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists (-105) CLICK HERE TO SEE WHICH SPORTSBOOK HAS THE BEST ODDS


Article Author


Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.


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