Not a great schedule of NBA games on Thursday opposite the start of the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament. Perhaps the best pro hoops matchup is the LA Lakers visiting New Orleans, whose players are likely to have very tired legs – making L.A. perhaps a great wager at in the NBA betting odds.
Lakers at Pelicans NBA Betting Odds & Game InfoNBA.tvRadio: 710 AM (Los Angeles) / 99.5 WRNO FM (New Orleans)NBA Betting Odds: Pelicans -10.5
Season SeriesIt’s the last meeting of the season. On Oct. 22 in L.A., the Pelicans won 119-112. DeMarcus Cousins had 22 points and 11 rebounds but of course he’s now out for the season. It was the 400th career win for Pels coach Alvin Gentry. Lonzo Ball had eight points, 13 assists and eight rebounds. The Lakers were down by 22 before staging a huge rally, only for New Orleans to answer back.On Feb. 4 in New Orleans, the Pels won 139-117 behind 42 points and 15 rebounds from Anthony Davis. Davis went 15 for 18 from the field with three assists, three steals and two blocks. Jrue Holiday had 24 points and 11 assists, and reserve Darius Miller scored 19 points. Kyle Kuzma scored 23 points and Brandon Ingram had 21, but Los Angeles surrendered its most points in a regulation game this season. Ball missed that one.The Lakers lead the all-time series 32-20 and are 15-11 in New Orleans. Gentry is 13-26 (.333) all-time against the Lakers. Luke Walton is 2-4 (.333) all-time against New Orleans
Why Bet on LA Lakers?In two games against New Orleans, Kyle Kuzma has averaged 21.5 points on .515 shooting from the field, 5.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals. Brandon Ingram has averaged 14.0 points, 4.5 assists and 2.0 rebounds. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has averaged 12.5 points on .529 shooting from the floor, including .500 from deep, 5.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks.The Lakers enter on a three-game losing streak after falling 110-100 in Indiana on Monday to start a four-game road trip. Kuzma finished with 27 points and eight rebounds, and Brook Lopez had 23 points and eight rebounds for Los Angeles. Kuzma was 3 of 10 on 3s, extending the franchise record for a rookie to 135. Julius Randle finished with 21 points and nine rebounds and Lonzo Ball had four points and eight assists. Ball’s shooting is still a big concern, as he’s shooting just 23 percent over his last five games.Brandon Ingram (groin) did not practice on Wednesday and has been ruled out for Thursday’s game against the Pelicans. Ingram was slightly sore after ramping up his workload on Tuesday, and with the Lakers clearly out of the playoff hunt, there’s no incentive to rush Ingram back to the court. Kuzma, Caldwell-Pope and Randle will continue to split his minutes. Channing Frye (appendectomy) practiced on Wednesday but he’s not playing Thursday.
Why Bet on New Orleans?In two games against the Lakers earlier this season, Anthony Davis has averaged 34.5 points on .667 shooting from the floor, including .429 from three-point range, 16.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 3.0 steals and 2.5 blocks. Jrue Holiday has averaged 19.0 points on .533 shooting from the field, 8.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 4.0 steals in the two games. E’Twaun Moore has averaged 16.5 points on .636 shooting from the field. In two games against the Lakers – one with New Orleans and one with Chicago – Nikola Mirotić has averaged 17.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists.So, here’s why I’m not going to recommend New Orleans here: It will be playing a third game in three nights, which is unheard of these days. The Pelicans had a regularly scheduled game Tuesday and then were supposed to have Wednesday off before hosting the Lakers on Thursday. However, a Feb. 7 game vs. the Pacers was postponed when a leak in the Smoothie King Center roof allowed rain water to fall on the hardwood. Coaches and players from both sides claimed the playing conditions were unsafe, and the NBA opted to reschedule the contest.The NBA really was stuck and had to force New Orleans to play three nights in a row. It’s the franchise’s first back-to-back-to-back since a lockout in 2012. During that campaign, however, each team had one set of three consecutive games to make up for two months lost in protracted contract negotiations. Overall, the Pelicans are scheduled to play six games between March 17 and March 24, hosting five home games in six nights.It seems likely that Gentry could rest a guy or two Thursday – or at least limit the minutes of his key guys. Then again, the Pelicans are fighting for a playoff spot.
Latest NBA Betting Trends
- LA Lakers is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games
- Lakers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 Thursday games.
- Lakers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Pelicans are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games overall.
- New Orleans is 9-4 ATS in their last 13 Thursday games.
- Pelicans are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.