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Lakers-Pelicans Odds, Advanced Stats Preview & +EV Pick

The NBA play-in tournament has arrived, which means the NBA’s top-four teams will finally get to figure out who their opening-round opponents will be. On Tuesday, we’ll have both games in the Western Conference, a matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans as well as another between the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors. With the No. 7 seed on the line, let’s dive into the Lakers-Pelicans odds as we get into our advanced stats-driver preview and make a pick with positive expected value (+EV). If you’re hungry for more NBA content, check out our full play-in tournament preview, our guide to +EV NBA betting or our NBA betting model’s picks.

Lakers-Pelicans Odds, Advanced Stats Preview & +EV Pick

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Lakers-Pelicans Odds

Odds via bet365
LAL ML: -105 | NOP ML: -115
LAL +1: -110 | NOP -1: -110
Over 224.5: -110 | Under 224.5: -110
Live Lakers-Pelicans odds

Lakers-Pelicans Preview & +EV Pick

The No. 8 Los Angeles Lakers will visit the No. 7 New Orleans Pelicans for a shot at the No. 2 Denver Nuggets. It’s not an enviable playoff matchup, and there’s an argument that the No. 1 Oklahoma City Thunder are a less challenging opponent, but it would be foolish for either side to play matchups with the possibility of elimination on the line.

The Lakers won the regular-season series versus the Pelicans this year, besting them in three of four games. However, they split the series 1-1 in New Orleans. The Lakers lost the first trip to the Big Easy but won the second, which was scheduled for the final day of the regular season and allowed the Lakers to lock up the No. 8 seed.

Los Angeles’ 16-point win over the Pels looms large heading into this matchup, the odds for which are a pick’em. Anthony Davis and LeBron James combined for a whopping 58 points, 22 rebounds and 20 assists in the quasi-playoff game environment. The Pels seemingly took a more relaxed approach, refusing to use any of their starters for more than 32 minutes.

The big question for Tuesday’s Lakers-Pelicans game is whether Brandon Ingram will be back to full health. Head coach Willie Green acknowledged that Ingram was on a minutes restriction before the game. The Pels used him for only 23 minutes in his return to the floor on Sunday. He finished at -28. It’s an open question, but I’m leaning toward Green giving Ingram the green light come Tuesday.

It’s inefficient for L.A. to be a pick’em with New Orleans for this game. Since the All-Star Break, the Lakers have allowed the sixth-most points in the paint per game (52.7), the sixth-highest conversion rate in the restricted area (69.8%) and the ninth-highest conversion rate from mid-range (44%).

Zion Williamson should feast down low, as he scored the second-most points in the paint in the regular season (17.6), while Brandon Ingram should convert plenty of high-quality mid-range looks, as he ranked fifth in mid-range makes per game this year (2.6).

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On the defensive end, the Pels have a talented cast of defensive weapons, including starter Herbert Jones, that will cause problems for the Lake Show. New Orleans ranks sixth in defensive rating since the All-Star Break (110.3). Importantly, the Pels also rank third in points allowed in the paint (45.2) through that sample, which should limit Davis’ effectiveness.

Lakers-Pelicans EV Pick: New Orleans ML -110 at Caesars
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