Lakers vs. Pacers Prediction: Lebron Invades Indianapolis

LeBron James

Getty Images LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers have won seven straight and 17 of 18 overall as they stroll into Indy to take on the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night. The game will be a reunion for Lakers head coach Frank Vogel, who was hired by Los Angeles in the offseason. Vogel coached the Pacers from 2011-16 and departed as the franchise’s all-time leader in wins.

Indiana tied an NBA record making 19 3-pointers in a 136-94 victory the last time these two teams played in February of last season. It was the most lopsided loss in the historic 17-year career of LeBron James. The Pacers have been playing good basketball lately and are riding a three-game winning streak after a 107-85 victory over the Hornets on Sunday.

The Lakers might still be without guard Kyle Kuzma, who has missed the past three games with a sprained left ankle. Lebron James is also battling an elbow injury that was sustained in last week’s win over the Heat and was questionable against the Hawks two days later. James did play in Atlanta and scored 32 points with 13 rebounds and seven assists in the 101-96 win, putting together of his most impressive performances this season despite the injury.

ESPN’s FPI gives the Lakers a 54.0% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Tuesday’s matchup between the Lakers and Pacers.

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Lakers vs. Pacers Game Details

Date: Tuesday, December 17
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Indiana)
TV: Spectrum SportsNet, FS Indiana
Lakers -3
Total: 210.5

*All lines, odds, and trends are courtesy of Covers & The Action Network

Line Movement

This line opened at Lakers -4.5 and has been bet down to Lakers -3 despite the majority of the bets and money coming in on the Pacers. This indicates a slight reverse line movement favoring Indiana.

Betting Trends

  • Lakers are 24-3 SU and 16-11 ATS this season
  • Pacers are 18-9 SU and 15-11-1 ATS this season
  • Under is 15-12 in Lakers games this season
  • Under is 15-11-1 in Pacers games this season

Analysis & Picks

The Lakers won but failed to cover in their last game as Lebron James gutted through an elbow injury to sneak past the Hawks. This game will be a massive step up in competition as the Pacers prevent a much different challenge. Indiana is 11-3 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the line drifting towards Indiana is very telling here as we have not seen the movement go against the Lakers much this season. Lebron is a little banged up and I can see him being a bit sluggish in this game. Anthony Davis is also questionable to play with an ankle injury.  Indianapolis has been a house of horrors for LA who has dropped six straight road games against the Pacers. The Lakers’ last win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse came back in 2013 when Vogel was still the Pacers head coach. I’ll tail the line movement here, give me the points.

PICK: Pacers +3

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Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith