The Los Angeles Lakers will play in the second game of a back-to-back against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Last night, the Lakers took a 114-106 loss to the Nuggets after standing pat at the trade deadline. The Lakers are now 27-26 and in danger of returning to .500 with a loss against the Pelicans.
On the other hand, the Pelicans have won four consecutive games, including their most recent victory against the Los Angeles Clippers in the same arena.
The Pelicans added a 117-106 win and have allowed no more than 113 points in any of the four wins.
Like the Lakers, the Pelicans didn’t make any moves at the NBA Trade Deadline. They were involved in rumors, but nothing ever came to fruition.
Therefore, the Pelicans are one-point favorites on the road in this game. The total is currently at 234.5, with both money lines with a probability of above 50% thanks to the books’ juice.
Let’s closely look at the Pelicans vs Lakers matchup lines for tonight’s Western Conference showdown.
Pelicans vs Lakers Matchup Lines
The Pelicans have been dominant straight up and are also doing well against the spread. New Orleans has gone 29-21-1 against the spread this season, helping Pelicans bettors to solid provide in the first half of the NBA season.
The New Orleans Pelicans are 15-11 on the road and have hit the Under three more times than the Under this year.
On the other hand, the Lakers have been much better at home, with a home record of 18-9. However, the Lakers are just 23-30 against the spread. Los Angeles has also hit the Over in 29 of 53 games this year.
The Pelicans and Lakers have already met twice this season. The Lakers and Pelicans each won home NBA matchups in blowout fashion.
Three Game Time Decisions For Pelicans
The Pelicans have listed Zion Williamson, Naji Marshall, and Jonas Valanciunas on the NBA injury report as questionable for tonight’s game.
Marshall has low back spasm, while Zion Williamson has a left foot bone contusion. Williamson and Marshall both had these injuries before the Clippers game. However, Williamson still played.
On the other hand, Valanciunas has a right calf contusion that forced him out of the game against the Clippers after playing for under 11 minutes in that game.
If anything, Williamson has the best chance of suiting up of these three.
It All Comes Down To Health For Lakers
It’s been a difficult season for the Los Angeles Lakers this year. The Lakers won the NBA In-Season Tournament but haven’t been able to add that momentum into the regular season.
They’re just one loss away from falling to .500, and on top of that, the Lakers added no reinforcements to the roster at the NBA Trade Deadline.
The Lakers need to get healthy for any playoff run. Los Angeles just lost Max Christie, who didn’t return to game action yesterday. He’s got an ankle sprain that could keep him out for a little longer.
Meanwhile, D’Angelo Russell has a knee injury. He didn’t play due to an injury and illness. Then there’s Jared Vanderbilt, Cam Reddish, and Gabe Vincent, who are all currently out with other injuries.
On top of that, LeBron James isn’t capable of playing an entire season, and Anthony Davis is typically injury-prone. It’s a tough spot for the Lakers right now.
There’s No Stopping The Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans are currently 30-21 and have earned four straight wins. Three of those four wins have come on the road, including wins against the Rockets, Spurs, Raptors, and Clippers.
They’re winning these games with their defense.
New Orleans has given up just 114 points per 100 possessions with an effective field goal percentage of 54.4%. The Pelicans have done well, earning a top-ten rate of turnovers, and have limited NBA teams to 26.1% of offensive rebounds.https://www.pointspreads.com/nba/teams/
That’s critical because the Lakers have earned just 22.9% of offensive rebounds. The Lakers will have a tough time finding quality shots but also won’t be able to rebound for second-chance points.
On the other hand, the Pelicans have been above average in every offensive category but turnover percentage. They’re 16th in turnovers.
However, they’ve still scored 118.1 points per 100 possessions and shoot a 56.2% effective field goal percentage. Even without Valanciunas, New Orleans will likely add more offensive rebounds than the Lakers in this game.
The Pelicans won’t see the foul line very much as the Lakers rank second in defense free throw rate. However, New Orleans should finish this game with a higher field goal percentage and more shots based on second chances.
Let’s back New Orleans at -1 after looking at the Pelicans vs Lakers matchup lines.