- The Lakers vs Pelicans odds favor Los Angeles by 1-point on Friday (April 1) at 10:30pm ET
- LeBron James (ankle) is hoping to return to the LA lineup after a two-game absence
- Read below for the Lakers vs Pelicans odds, analysis, and betting prediction
Remember back in October when the Lakers had the second shortest odds to win the title? Seems like a lifetime ago. Fast forward seven months, and LA is in serious danger of not qualifying for the Play-In Tournament, let alone the playoffs.
The Lakers enter play on Friday (April 1) versus the Pelicans clinging to 10th place in the West, but good news may be on the way – more on that later.
Pelicans vs Lakers Odds
|New Orleans Pelicans||-105||+1 (-115)||O 234 (-110)|
|LA Lakers||-115||-1 (-105)||U 234 (-110)|
Odds as of March 31st at BetMGM.
Los Angeles opened up as a 1-point favorite, in a contest that features a total of 234. Tip-off is scheduled for 10:30pm ET at the crypto.com Arena in LA, with NBA TV providing the broadcast coverage.
The Lakers are hopeful LeBron James can return to the lineup after missing two straight games with an ankle injury, but he’s not the only star LA might be getting back just in time for this contest.
Los Angeles Lakers Betting Analysis
Frank Vogel’s squad is also hoping Anthony Davis can suit up for the first time since February 16th. AD has been out for a month and a half with a foot sprain, and the Lakers have not fared well without him.
As Anthony Davis — out since Feb. 16 with a foot sprain — progresses toward a game-time decision vs. New Orleans on Friday, LeBron James is hopeful to test out his ankle sprain and try to make a return to the lineup too, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 31, 2022
LA is 4-13 since Davis went down, and 0-3 during that stretch when James has also sat out. LeBron, the NBA’s leading scorer, has missed a total of 20 games this season, and to no one’s surprise the Lakers have been dreadful without him. They’ve posted a 6-14 record without King James this season, suffering back-to-back losses without him entering Thursday night’s game at Utah.
Lakers this season:
42 — Nationally televised games
31 — Wins
Even if they win all remaining games they will still have more nationally televised games than wins (38). pic.twitter.com/sgMaVy4ezx
— StatMuse (@statmuse) March 31, 2022
When James has been healthy, he’s been carrying this team on his back, but even his Herculean efforts haven’t been enough to win many games lately. LA is 13-25 since a four-game winning streak in late December/early January, and has used 32 different starting lineups this season.
LeBron averaged 34.3 points in March, the highest scoring average in a calendar month in his career 👑
It’s also the most PPG in a month by a Laker since Kobe in March 2007. pic.twitter.com/KUs1lGtKHR
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 30, 2022
The majority of their offseason moves have not panned out, and even if they do sneak into the Play-In Tournament, they could easily face an early exit if James and/or Davis are not 100%.
Coming into Thursday they’d lost three consecutive games, including a 116-108 defeat at New Orleans last Sunday.
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New Orleans Pelicans Betting Analysis
The Pelicans followed up their victory over LA with another win on Wednesday, downing the Trail Blazers 117-107. CJ McCollum scored 25 points in his first visit to Portland since being traded to New Orleans, while Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas each chipped in 19 points.
“They’ve seen the best and the worst from me…they’ve grown with me. I’m appreciative and thankful”
CJ McCollum on @trailblazers fans
— Orlando Sanchez (@orlandokgw) March 30, 2022
The Pelicans shot a blistering 51.3% from the field continuing a recent trend of strong offensive performances. New Orleans has scored at least 115 points in eight of its past 10 contests, posting a 6-4 record over that stretch. McCollum has been exceptional since joining the team, averaging 26 points and 6.5 assists per game.
— Bally Sports New Orleans (@BallySportsNO) March 31, 2022
Those numbers are better than any of his season-long stats over eight and a half years in Portland, as he’s finally being treated as a number one option.
The Pelicans are 2-0 versus the Lakers this season, but have yet to face LA with both LeBron and AD in the lineup.
Pelicans vs Lakers Pick
This technically isn’t a must-win game for the Lakers, but the way they’re spiralling downhill at the moment it might as well be.
I still believe the Lakers can make a playoff run pic.twitter.com/idsOebhUHi
— Ricky’s Laker Propaganda Network (@MrRickySpanish) March 26, 2022
We should expect LA to play with serious urgency and I’d bet on them right now if there was a clearer indication that James and Davis were playing.
However, since we don’t have that information let’s target the over instead. We mentioned New Orleans’ improved offense, while the Lakers have been playing shootouts left, right and center lately. Entering Thursday, five of the past six LA contests have soared over the total, while the over is 10-4 in Los Angeles’ last 14 games.
Another reason to like the over is the Lakers’ lightning-fast pace. Only six teams play faster than LA, which increases the amount of possessions for both teams. More possessions equals more opportunity, so let’s bank on their speed and the Pelicans’ efficiency continuing on Friday.
Pick: Over 234 (-110)
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