AD Break: Take Lakers Over Visiting Pelicans

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 1:48 AM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019 1:48 AM UTC

It looks like Anthony Davis will play for the New Orleans Pelicans this time, so let’s try fading the Pels when they visit the L.A. Lakers on Wednesday.

Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Feb. 25:
13-12 ATS, 0-4 ML (minus-9.35 units), 17-8 Totals

New Orleans (27-35 SU, 30-31-1 ATS) at L.A. Lakers (29-31 SU, 25-33-2 ATS)
Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Free NBA Pick: Lakers ATS
Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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This is why you should wait until the morning shoot-around before making your NBA picks. Last week, we had the ‘under’ for Saturday’s hotly-anticipated game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans. We would have taken the Pellies against the spread, but not with Anthony Davis back in the lineup. Well, guess what happened: Davis didn’t suit up, and New Orleans won 128-115 (Over 233.5) as 6.5-point home dogs.

So here we are looking at Wednesday’s rematch at Staples Center. In theory, Davis will play this time; it’s not part of a back-to-back situation, and the Pelicans say they’re bound by league mandate to play Davis, although they’ll limit his minutes. We could try to give the ‘under’ another spin, but after Saturday’s result, we’re more inclined to go with the Lakers as 5.5-point home faves on the NBA odds board.

I Have Urgency In My Areas

This is only going to be for a small wager, mind you. FiveThirtyEight have the Lakers pegged as 3-point favorites, using their CARMELO-based formula, so we’re cutting against the advanced stats here. Our reasoning is two-fold: One, this is a revenge game for Los Angeles, and two, the Pellies will presumably have a minutes-limited version of both Davis (plus-8.6 BPM) and Jrue Holiday (plus-3.1 BPM) in the lineup, something that CARMELO won’t have accounted for.

We’re not usually keen on revenge or other motivational factors here at the ranch, but this is an unusual situation. The Lakers are three games out of a playoff spot at press time, and LeBron James (plus-7.7 BPM) challenged his teammates after the loss in New Orleans, telling reporters that the Lakers needed a “sense of urgency” with their approach. Really, they need Lonzo Ball (plus-0.6 BPM) to get healthy, but that doesn’t look like it’ll happen anytime soon.

AD-Blocker

At least the Lakers have something tangible to play for. Wednesday is yet another game in what has become a lame-duck season for the Pelicans. When Davis doesn’t play, that gives guys like Jahlil Okafor (minus-1.3 BPM) and Julius Randle (plus-1.7 BPM) the opportunity to man the middle and get their teammates engaged. Who wants to help Davis out at this point?

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This is what the new \"minutes restriction Anthony Davis era\" is going to look like it seems-- he sat the entire 4th quarter and played less than 7 minutes in the 3rd in a game where the #Pelicans had a chance to come back and win it. Weird, right? He thinks so too: pic.twitter.com/PHXblSdKXA

— Karen Loftus (@kcloftus) February 26, 2019
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This dynamic will only grow stronger in L.A., where James has been campaigning to get Davis in the Purple and Gold (cough cough Yellow cough). The Pels are 14-17-1 ATS on the road this year, including 0-2 ATS since they chose not to move Davis at the trade deadline. If they’re going to go through with Wednesday’s charade, the least we could do is profit from it.

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