Pelicans vs. Lakers Prediction: How We’re Betting Lebron at Staples Center

LeBron James NBA DraftKings Showdown Christmas Night

Getty LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are 10.5-point favorites over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night at Staples Center.

New Orleans (11-23) has won a season-high four straight games by an average of 14.3 points after a strong 127-112 home victory over the Rockets on Sunday.  Lonzo Ball knocked down a career-high seven 3-pointers and Brandon Ingram added 27 points in the victory. Ball has drained 11 triples over his past two games and also recorded a triple-double in the win over Houston with 10 rebounds and 10 assists. The Pelicans are still awaiting the return of No. 1 pick Zion Williamson from a knee injury that has cost him all of his rookie season thus far.

Los Angeles (27-7) has won three in a row after a 117-107 win over the Suns on Wednesday night. Lebron James led the way with an impressive triple-double, recording 31 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists. Anthony Davis will play his second game against his former team. Davis was traded from the Pelicans to the Lakers in the offseason and had 41 points with nine boards in his return to New Orleans on November 27 in a 114-110 Los Angeles victory.  Los Angeles has won four of the past five meetings over New Orleans. 

ESPN’s FPI gives Lakers an 81.2% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Friday’s matchup between the Pelicans and Lakers. 

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Pelicans vs. Lakers Game Details

Date: Friday, January 3
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: Staples Center (Los Angeles, California)
Lakers -10.5
Total: 223

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

Key Injuries


  • PF Anthony Davis (shoulder) probable
  • SG Alex Caruso (calf) questionable


  • PF Zion Williamson (knee) out
  • SF Darius Miller (achilles) out

Betting Trends

  • Pelicans are 11-23 SU and 14-19-1 ATS this season
  • Lakers are 27-7 SU and 18-16 ATS this season
  • Under is 18-16 in Pelicans games this season
  • Under is 20-14 in Lakers games this season

Analysis & Pick

Anthony Davis is listed on the Lakers’ injury report with right shoulder soreness but it’s hard to imagine the six-time all-star won’t play against his former team. Despite their record, the Pelicans have been playing better basketball of late as Lonzo Ball has emerged into a legitimate backcourt presence in New Orleans. These two teams will always be defined by the offseason trade that sent Ingram and Ball to Los Angeles in exchange for Davis. So far, it seems like the move is working out well for both teams as they adjust to new rosters. Meanwhile, Lebron James has recorded five straight games with at least 10 assists as he morphs into distribution mode. Now that we’ve entered the grind of the regular season, I expect Lebron to become less of a scorer and more of a distributor as he continues to get his teammates involved. The Pelicans kept this game close the last time these two played, and I expect the emotions of the game to have an effect early. Lakers likely win but don’t cover.

PICK: Pelicans +10.5

READ NEXT76ers vs. Rockets Prediction: How We’re Betting James Harden in Houston

Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith

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