Both of these teams return from the All-Star break looking to tackle the second half of the season. While the defending champions remain in the top-four in the Western Conference, Indiana has fallen on hard times and is tied for 10th place in the East with Chicago despite sharing second place with the Bulls in the Central Division.
Pacers at Lakers picks and predictions hinge on how driven we think LeBron James will be after taking the second half of the All-Star Game off and finally taking a game for load maintenance purposes in L.A.’s last game, sitting to try and heal up from multiple ailments that included an ankle sprain.
Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Indiana Pacers
- Time/Venue: 10:35 p.m. ET, Staples Center
- TV: Spectrum SportsNet
- Los Angeles Lakers vs. Indiana Pacers Odds
|Lakers||-4.5 (-112)||-186||O 216.5 (-112)|
|Pacers||+4.5 (-109)||+155||U 216.5 (-109)|
Lakers Current Form And Sports Betting Results
While James didn’t miss his first game of the season until the final game before the All-Star break, a 123-120 setback in Sacramento, the defending champs were having a rough time of it even before their leader finally took a seat.
Anthony Davis has been sidelined since Feb. 14 with a calf strain and is nearing a return but won’t suit up for the Lakers on Friday night. Team physicians will re-evaluate him and anticipate he’ll be back sooner than later, but since he’s also been diagnosed with tendinosis, expect a cautious approach to be employed. He hasn’t practiced but has been lifting weights at the team facility, per ESPN.
Pacers at Lakers picks and predictions will look to identify whether L.A. can begin having success despite his absence considering it has gone 3-7 in the games he’s missed. His presence on both ends of the floor have been missed, but defense is where his absence has been affected most since his length and ability to switch on to practically any offensive player can’t be replicated by anyone else on the team roster.
L.A. had only given up 120 points once before he came down the wrong way on his left leg in a 122-105 loss in Denver, but it surrendered more than that threshold that night and has done two more times over the last 10, giving up the 123 points in Sacramento on March 3 and 127 points on Feb. 23 in an upset loss to the Wizards.
The Lakers are just 5-9 ATS over their last 14 contests. The ‘over’ has connected in four of the last six games involving L.A. and failed to get there the two times the low side came in due to the Lakers holding their opponent under 100 points.
Pacers Current Form And Betting Results
Indiana has dropped five of its last six games and has failed to cover in any of them. The Pacers are stuck in a stretch where they’re playing 12 of 15 outside of Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and although the All-Star break broke that up some and a visit to Houston on Feb. 20 was postponed, it has looked like a little road weariness has set in.
Three of Indiana’s four road wins during this stretch have come against Detroit, Minnesota, and Cleveland, three of the five worst teams in the NBA from a record standpoint. The other conquest came in Atlanta against the inconsistent Hawks. Their last road victory against a team with a winning record came against the Trail Blazers on Jan. 14.
Help is on the way since Caris LeVert has resumed practicing and is expected to debut for his new team on Saturday against the Phoenix Suns. He had a mass removed from his kidney in January after being traded from Brooklyn and undergoing a physical in which the abnormality was discovered.
Teammates have raved over LeVert’s potential impact and current form, which will certainly aid the cause as he’s expected to pitch in off the bench. For the purposes of betting Indiana-L.A. be aware that Pacers who know they’re about to lose minutes due to his presence to try and do anything possible to remain in the good graces of first-year head coach Nate Bjorkgren, who will have some personnel decisions to make. The ‘over’ is 6-2-1 over the Pacers’ last nine games.
Betting Line Analysis
The Pacers are a 4.5-point underdog and haven’t been given this many points in a game despite their recent struggles since a Feb. 7 loss to Utah at home where they closed a 5-point ‘dog. Indiana is 0-3 this season when it closes as an underdog of 4.5 points or more, falling by a combined margin of 61 points against the Clippers, Bucks and Jazz.
The Lakers are just 2-3 straight up in their last three games as a favorite, with all those games coming at Staples Center.
Indiana has lost its last three games as a road underdog but has a winning record on the highway (9-8).
Injuries/Rotational Adjustments to Watch
James’ ankle is healthy after a 10-day respite and he told reporters that he’s eager to get after it, calling it “go time.” In addition to Davis remaining sidelined, normal starting center Marc Gasol is also out due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Montrezl Harrell is due to play more minutes even if he doesn’t start.
The Pacers are going to be at full strength when they get LeVert back on Saturday since Jeremy Lamb has been given the go-ahead to play after some knee soreness. Point guard Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis have been healthy and form one of the NBA’s elite pick-and-roll combinations.
Pacers at Lakers Handicapping Notes and Pick
The absence of both Davis and Gasol doesn’t inspire much confidence that the Lakers can solve their defensive issues, but they have more than enough firepower to turn back Indiana. Although Myles Turner is one of the NBA’s top shot blockers, opponents have scored 110 or more points against the Pacers in nine consecutive games. Look for that trend to continue as the visitors do some damage of their own in helping top the posted total.