ESPN’s FPI gives Los Angeles an 81.2% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Tuesday’s matchup between the Pelicans and Lakers.
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Pelicans vs. Lakers Game Details
Date: Tuesday, February 25
Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
Location: STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, California)
Spread: Lakers -7.5
- SG Kenrich Williams (back) out
- PF Anthony Davis (calf) probable
- Pelicans are 25-32 SU and 30-25-2 ATS this season
- Lakers are 43-12 SU and 29-25-1 ATS this season
- Over is 33-24 in Pelicans games this season
- Over is 28-27 in Lakers games this season
Zion Williamson has settled in and is emerging as the most explosive rookie in the NBA. The No. 1 overall pick is averaging 29 points over his last four games however he will likely draw the tough matchups of LeBron James and Anthony Davis on defense against the Lakers. Brandon Ingram has taken a back seat since Zion’s emergence and has not scored more than 17 points in his last three games. I expect the Lakers to key in on Zion in this matchup which will allow Ingram to break out of his recent slump. This is also a reunion game for Ingram, who was sent to New Orleans as part of the Anthony Davis deal last season. Expect him to have a big game against his former team.
PICK: Brandon Ingram Over 21.5 Points
The Pelicans defense is ranked 28th in the NBA allowing 117.0 points per game while the Lakers are sixth allowing just 107.4. The Los Angeles offense has been incredibly efficient from the floor this season and lead the league in field-goal percentage (48.7%). The Lakers defeated the Pelicans 123-113 back on Jan. 3 as the game comfortably sailed past the total of 225.5. The books have adjusted this time around and have added 14 points to this total which seems like an overreaction. The Lakers defense will grind down the young Pelicans in the fourth quarter.
PICK: Under 239.5
This is a fascinating matchup with New Orleans making a push for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. We could see the Lakers and Pelicans square off again in the postseason but for now, Los Angeles enters winners of five straight after a slim 114-112 home victory over the Celtics on Sunday. New Orleans is playing its best basketball of the season with Zion in tow having won five of its last six games and eight of 11.
The Pelicans are 1-0-1 ATS against the Lakers this season after a push of the 10-point spread in their last meeting. Los Angeles could not cover a 6.5-point spread in a 114-110 win over New Orleans back in November. Anthony Davis has ripped off six straight double-doubles after a 32-point, 13-rebound performance in Sunday’s win. I don’t see the Pelicans having an answer for AD in the middle. The Lakers churn out a double-digit win over the leaky Pels.
PICK: Lakers -7.5
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith