The Los Angeles Lakers try to stay in the playoff picture when they play host to the New Orleans Pelicans in a Western Conference matchup on Sunday night. Both teams are outside of the top eight in the conference standings and need as many wins as they can muster. The game will have a playoff-type atmosphere, so read on for a closer look at how to bet online on this contest.
Pelicans Still Fighting for Play-In
The New Orleans Pelicans have not had forward Zion Williamson all season, but they still sit one game outside of the Western Conference play-in tournament entering Sunday’s action. The Pelicans are hoping the recent acquisition of guard CJ McCollum can help spark the team, which has won two of its last four, including a victory over the league-leading Phoenix Suns on their home floor on Friday night.
McCollum scored 32 points in Friday’s win and is averaging 29.0 points per game in six contests with the Pelicans. The veteran has been outstanding from the 3-point line, hitting 41.3% of his attempts since coming to New Orleans.
Forward Brandon Ingram is the team’s other big scorer at 22.2 points per game. Ingram can shoot from the perimeter as well as drive into the paint, and he’s leading the team with 5.4 assists per game this season as well. He had 28 points in the win over Phoenix.
“We’re just starting to figure it out,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said after Friday’s win. “There’s a lot of work in front of us, but those two guys were spectacular.”
Center Jonas Valanciunas is averaging a double-double in his first season with the Pelicans, putting up 18.0 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. The added defensive attention on McCollum could open things up in the paint a little more, so we may see even more production from the big man going forward.
Lakers On The Verge
The Los Angeles Lakers have dropped four of their last five, but it’s not been by blowouts. In fact, of the Lakers’ last 10 losses, only two were by double-digits and four of the last five have been by three points or less. That seems to be a sign of no clear closer, as coach Frank Vogel continues to mix and match his lineup.
One constant, of course, is forward LeBron James, who has been putting up big numbers for much of this season. He’s third in the NBA with 28.9 points per game while ranking 17th with 6.4 assists per night. He is also grabbing 8.0 rebounds and recording 1.6 steals per contest.
The biggest problem with Los Angeles has been injuries, with forward Anthony Davis (23.1 points, 9.7 rebounds) currently out of the lineup with a foot sprain that will keep him out a few more weeks. Forward Carmelo Anthony played for the first time in six games against the Clippers, finishing with 18 points, but he missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the contest.
Guard Russell Westbrook is the only Lakers player to appear in as many as 58 games this season, and he continues to fill the boxscore. Westbrook is averaging 18.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game, and the chemistry between he and James is continually improving.
New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers Head-to-Head
This is the first meeting between these two teams this season, with two more left on the schedule after Sunday. The Los Angeles Lakers took two of the three meetings last season and have beaten the New Orleans Pelicans in eight of their last nine meetings.
Ingram would love to get a win against his former team, and he and McCollum’s offense could lead the way to that happening. The NBA odds are giving the Lakers the edge, but this one is going to be interesting.
New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers Game Information
Game: New Orleans Pelicans (24-36) at Los Angeles Lakers (27-32)
Location: crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles
Day/Time: Sunday, 10 p.m. ET
New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers Betting Lines
New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers Prediction
The Los Angeles Lakers are in danger of losing a spot in the playoff field if they don’t start winning their close games soon. The frustration of the season is taking its toll on this team, and another loss to a playoff-contending team in this one could really do some damage.
McCollum and Ingram should get their points, but Los Angeles should be able to pull this one out at home. It will be close, but when doing your NBA betting, give the edge to the Lakers and pick them to win and cover at home.