Friday, February 23, 2024

Pelicans vs. Lakers prediction: NBA In-Season Tournament odds, pick, best bets

Must read

There was a lot to like about betting the Pelicans these days, even before the injury reports for Thursday’s game against the Lakers were released.

While New Orleans is finally – finally!! – at full strength (minus the return of Larry Nance Jr.), Los Angeles could be limping into the neutral-court In-Season Tournament quarterfinal in Las Vegas. 

Although they’re expected to start, LeBron James (calf) and Anthony Davis (groin/hip) are both dealing with injuries that could make them less than 100 percent.

The Lakers held off the Phoenix Suns, 106-103, in Tuesday’s quarterfinals — featuring late controversy — to advance to the Western Conference semifinal. 

Lakers vs. Pelicans prediction

(9 p.m. ET. TNT)

James looked like he was 28 rather than 38, leading the Lakers with 31 points, 11 assists and eight boards. L.A. attempted 102 shots, compared to 75 attempts for Phoenix.

It marked the first time this season the Lakers covered in consecutive games.

A day earlier, the Pelicans rallied from an early deficit to eliminate the Sacramento Kings, 127-117, marking their seventh straight cover in the underdog role. 

LeBron James drives against the Suns on Tuesday. AP

Brandon Ingram scored 30 points and CJ McCollum added 17 as the Pelicans busted the 116-point mark for the eighth time in 10 games.

New Orleans has won three of its last four games, while covering the spread in nine of its past 12 contests.

The Lakers captured three of four matchups from the Pelicans last season, and three of those games finished over the total. In the final meeting in New Orleans, the Lakers won, 123-108, without James in the lineup as Davis burned his former team for 35 points.

Betting on the NBA?

Los Angeles is no doubt a public play in this game being played in Las Vegas, but New Orleans has proven to be a strong underdog this season and are receiving two points.

Let’s grab the points with New Orleans in this spot, bank on Zion Williamson having a bounce-back performance (he scored only 10 points and failed to get to the free throw line against Sacramento) and go against the public team.

Pick: Pelicans +2 (-112, FanDuel)

Latest article