The New Orleans Pelicans meet the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time this season on Friday night, so I’ve prepared the latest odds update on Sugarhouse Sportsbook along with the most important betting tips and stats and my best betting pick for this Western Conference showdown.
The Pelicans are already in LA, coming off a 111-106 loss to the Clippers this past Wednesday. They will miss Lonzo Ball (knee), while Eric Bledsoe (eye) is questionable to play. On the other side, the Lakers don’t have any serious injury worries ahead of Friday’s game.
Everything’s going from bad to worse for the Pels
The New Orleans Pelicans (4-6; 4-6 ATS) have dropped four games in a row, covering just once in the process. They were listed as 11.5-point dogs against the Clippers, while the Pels suffered three consecutive defeats on the home court as favorites, losing to Charlotte 118-110, OKC 111-110, and Indiana 118-116.
Zion Williamson missed the clash against the Clippers due to medical protocols, but he’s cleared to resume team activities and should return to the floor against the Lakers. Williamson is posting 21.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest, while Brandon Ingram is tallying 23.8 points, 7.0 boards, and 5.5 assists a night.
The Pelicans still struggle offensively, scoring 108.0 points per 100 possessions (21st in the NBA) on 45.8% shooting from the field (15th) and 32.5% from beyond the arc (tied-29th). They average 22.8 assists (24th) and 16.1 turnovers per game (5th), so the Pels have to improve a lot if they want to stop their skid.
The Lakers had no problems on their road trip
The Los Angeles Lakers (10-3; 7-6 ATS) have just finished a three-game rod trip with a 128-99 victory at the Oklahoma City Thunder, recording their fourth straight win to stay perfect in seven outings away from home this season.
The Lakers shot 49.5% from the field and 45.9% from beyond the 3-point line, controlling the game for all 48 minutes. LeBron James had 26 points, six rebounds, and seven assists; Anthony Davis posted 18 points and seven boards, while Montrezl Harrell added 21 points and six rebounds off the bench.
Los Angeles allows only 104.4 points per 100 possessions (1st in the NBA) on 43.9% shooting from the field (3rd) and 34.1% from beyond the arc (5th). The Lakers score 114.8 points in a return (6th) on 49.3% shooting from the field (tied-2nd) and 39.6% from downtown (3rd).
- 4-9 ATS in the last 13 games overall
- 2-6 ATS in the last eight contests against Western Conference
- 16-9-1 ATS in the last 26 games against Western Conference
The Winner Prediction
The Lakers have played very well since the opening loss to the Clippers. The Purple and Gold have great depth, and with all their important players healthy and ready to go, the reigning champs are looking unstoppable at the moment.
On the other side, the Pelicans have had some injury problems over the last two weeks. They’re still trying to gel things with the new head coach, so I have to pick the Lakers to win and cover. On paper, the Pels certainly stand a chance of making this game interesting to watch, but I’m not sure they will succeed against the fired-up Lakers team.
Pick: Take LA Lakers -9.5 at -110
The Lakers have the best defensive rating in the league while playing at a steady pace of 100.8 possessions per 48 minutes (13th in the league). They execute offensively at a high level, and I’m impressed with their 3-point shooting this term.
However, the Pelicans play solid defense, allowing 108.0 points per 100 possessions (9th) on 44.8% shooting from the field (10th). They will try to slow down things and continue playing tough, aggressive defense, so I’m going with the under.
Pick: Go under 220.5 points at -110