We have expert NBA picks for the In-Season Tournament semifinal between the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers.
A spot in the final against either the Pacers or Bucks is on the line, and the Lakers are only -2 favorites.
We thought they would earn more respect, so bettors could grab a generous line.
Pelicans Taking Flight
We are surprised the sportsbook has the Pelicans at only +2, but they have been playing well.
After scoring an upset 127-117 win over the Sacramento Kings, there is an air of confidence with the visitors.
They turned around a poor defeat to the Chicago Bulls, but when the chips were on the table, they pulled out their best basketball.
They are 13-8-1 against the NBA betting spread, which is a profitable number. That number dips on the road at 4-5-1, which is the main concern.
However, Brandon Ingram is starting to play well, and Zion Williamson is always a beast in the paint.
Everything is there for the Pelicans to win, but stopping LeBron James and Anthony Davis isn’t easy. The Lakers bring more mental toughness as well, and given what’s at stake, that’s where the Pelicans are lacking.
Lakers Value Line
Our NBA odds prediction had the Lakers at -4½, so we’re surprised by the current odds.
There isn’t much respect being put on their name, despite beating the Phoenix Suns 106-103 in a tough defensive battle.
The Pelicans might have looked better on offense, but limiting the Suns’ red hot offense to only 103 points is some effort.
“You’ve got some of the most alpha male competitors in the world, and if you give us an opportunity to play for something meaningful or an incentive, then you get what you’re getting,” James said. “The In-Season Tournament is what it is, and we have an opportunity to play on a big stage, be on national television, represent our families, our communities, where we come from.”
— Loop Jamaica (@LoopJamaica) December 6, 2023
There is an advantage in big-game experience with the Lakers, which can’t be overlooked. The Pelicans have a lot of younger players, and having James on the court means more than anything else.
They are also 9-2 at home, so the Pelicans need to overcome that barrier as well.
Pelicans vs Lakers Game Information
- Game: Pelicans (12-10) vs Lakers (13-9)
- Date/Time: Thursday, Dec. 7, 9 p.m. ET
- Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
- Pelicans vs Lakers Live Stream: NBA Game Pass
Pelicans vs Lakers Betting Lines
Pelicans vs Lakers Game Prediction
Predicted Score: Los Angeles Lakers 117, New Orleans Pelicans 110
Worth Betting the Moneyline?
We can’t turn down the -130 for the Lakers, so that’s the best NBA bet of the day.
They are the better team, and they’re more well-equipped to make the In-Season Tournament final.
NBA Pick: Los Angeles Lakers -130
Worth Betting ATS?
The line opened at -1 before moving to -2, and we think there will be more betting support for the Lakers on game night.
Winning by a solitary bucket is more than attainable for the Lakers, who have won three of their last five games in fine style.
NBA Pick: Los Angeles Lakers -2
Worth Betting on the Totals?
We’re taking the under 229½ line. Defense should be the order of the day, which isn’t something we thought we would say about a Western Conference game.
There won’t be much in it, but based on the Lakers’ defense against the Suns, it should be low-scoring.
Questions Of The Day
What are some of the best bets for the NBA In-Season Tournament semifinals?
The Lakers covering the spread is the best bet for the NBA In-Season Tournament semifinal against the Pelicans.
How will the In-Season Tournament impact the regular-season schedule and standings?
The In-Season Tournament has no impact on the regular-season standings, but it has changed the schedule slightly.