The New Orleans Pelicans will take on the Los Angeles Lakers tonight in the most important games of the season.
The Pels currently sit a half game behind the Lakers in the standings after New Orleans’ disappointing loss to the Spurs last night.
They don’t have time to dwell on it, as they have to get back to work tonight against the Lakers with a whole lot on the line.
Not only is the 9th seed and a possibly home court advantage in the play-in tournament on the line, but the Pelicans only get to keep their 2022 NBA Draft pick from the Lakers if it falls into the top-10, which is much more likely to happen if the Pels claim the 9th seed.
It will be a playoff atmosphere at The Blender tonight, as it was packed and loud last night for the Spurs though the crowd went home disappointed.
The big question tonight is who is going to play?
The Pelicans have not yet submitted their injury report to the NBA, but Brandon Ingram is still listed as questionable tonight with a hamstring that has kept him out. Will BI make his return against his old team and thrill the home crowd?
The Lakers will for sure be missing Anthony Davis, so the Pelicans lucked out there. Dwight Howard and Talen Horton-Tucker are listed as probable and LeBron James is listed as questionable with knee soreness.
Obviously, the Pelicans are hoping that knee is just a little too sore to play tonight, but I wouldn’t bet against LeBron James being in the lineup in a must-win game for the Lakers.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Odds, spread, over/under and best bets
According to WynnBET, the Pelicans are four point favorites at home against the Lakers, which seems high given the questionable status of Brandon Ingram.
But the Lakers have only won three of their last 10 games and are just 11-24 on the road.
The money lines are set at -175 for New Orleans and +145 for Los Angeles, so if you like the Pels in this one, take them to cover and get the better odds, as they blew the Lakers out the last time they played.
The over/under is set at 230, a testament to how much the Lakers have been scoring and allowing lately. However, with both teams potentially shorthanded, a more tense playoff atmosphere and the Pelicans on the tail end of a back-to-back, I like the under in this one.
I like the Pelicans to bounce back from their poor shooting performance last night against the Spurs and get a big win behind a raucous home crowd with a final score of around 115-105.
Brandon Ingram is still too risky to put into your fantasy lineup, so stick with CJ McCollum and Jonas Valanciunas, two of the most reliable players in the league.
I love Valanciunas in this one, especially if Howard is not playing.
Last game I picked Jose Alvarado as my low-cost play and he rewarded me with a 23 point performance, adding five rebounds and five assists to go with it. I am going to keeping riding the hot hand, as the Lakers have a hard time staying in front of quick point guards.
How to watch Pelicans vs. Lakers
The game against Los Angeles has an early tip-off of 6:00 PM CT and you can watch on Bally Sports New Orleans or listen on ESPN 100.3 FM.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism