When the best player on the team with the best record suffers an unfortunate injury, the betting odds shift.

The New Orleans Pelicans ended the season 36-46. Despite being 10 games below .500, the team made huge strides after beginning the season 1-12, not having star Zion Williamson for the entire season, and missing franchise player Brandon Ingram for 27 games due to injury.

Undeniable growth, a trade deadline move to acquire CJ McCollum, and a culture of belief propelled New Orleans into the play-in tournament when they ended the regular season in 9th place in the Western Conference.

Thanks to the play-in, which debuted in 2021, New Orleans had a path to the playoffs.

They won a pair of play-in games to reach the NBA playoffs, earning a first round matchup #1 seeded Phoenix Suns, who finished the season with the league's best record of 64-18.

While the Pelicans played well in the second half of the season, it wasn't surprising when the Suns opened up at -2500 to win the series at Draftkings Sportsbook.

Following Phoenix's game 1 win Sunday, the odds grew to -4000, while the Pelicans shifted from +1100 to +1500.

Heading into game 2, New Orleans was a 10 point underdog, but won the game by 11, covering the spread by 20 points.

Suns All-Star Devin Booker injured his hamstring at the 4:35 mark of the third quarter of game two, and is out for at least games 3 and 4 in New Orleans.

While the Suns are still favored to win the series, the Pelicans game 2 victory, coupled with Booker's injury, has drastically shifted the betting odds.

Currently at Draftkings Sportsbook, Phoenix is -340 to win the series. New Orleans is +265.

Phoenix going from -4000 to -340 is a significant drop, but illustrates the gigantic impact of Booker's injury.

What about game 3?

Phoenix is currently a 1.5 point favorite.

The Pelicans will host the Suns in game 3 on Friday night at a sold out Smoothie King Center.

Although New Orleans still has extremely long 2022 NBA Championship odds at +15000, the Pelicans odds were +50000 less than a month ago.

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