No Rest? No Problem: Pelicans to Top Lakers Despite Grueling Stretch

pelicans

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, March 22, 2018 4:05 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 22, 2018 4:05 PM UTC

Playing on a third consecutive night and for the fifth time in six days, Anthony Davis and New Orleans jockey for playoff positioning against an L.A. Lakers team playing out the string.

Lakers (31-39 SU, 37-33 ATS) vs. Pelicans (42-30 SU, 40-32 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Pelicans -2½Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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What's Trending

Los Angeles is 2-5 ATS in their last seven after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.

Los Angeles is 1-4 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss.

Los Angeles is 2-5 ATS in their last seven games playing on two days of rest.

New Orleans is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games as a favorite.

New Orleans is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight-up win.

New Orleans is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games playing on zero days of rest.

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Lookin’ for a hat trick.

🏀 vs @Lakers
📍 @SmoothieKingCtr
⌚ 7:00 pm CT
📺 @FOXSportsNOLA
📻 @995WRNO
🎟️ https://t.co/8UTqnKWt4j#DoItBig pic.twitter.com/FebHs7yJzx

— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) March 22, 2018
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Analysis

The Lakers dropped their third game in a row when they embarked on their four-game road trip in Indiana on Monday night. Los Angeles built a 37-29 lead after the opening quarter and led by two at the half, but the third quarter belonged to the Pacers as they outscored the Lakers 35-21 and rolled to a 110-100 victory. The Lakers failed to cover the NBA odds for the third consecutive time as 5½-point road dogs. Kyle Kuzma led the L.A. with 27 points but the team continued to struggle mightily at the charity stripe, making 16 of 23 attempts.

New Orleans is in a playoff-position logjam. The Pelicans are tied with San Antonio for fifth in the West, but a string of victories could launch them to the No. 3 spot, currently held by Portland, or a series of losses could knock them right out of the playoff picture as they are only two games removed from the outside looking in. The Pelicans have won and covered their last three, the most recent a 96-92 win over Indiana on Wednesday night at home. Five-time All-Star Anthony Davis again led the charge with 28 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. It was the first time New Orleans won a game scoring less than 100 points since early November.

The Pelicans have won and covered their two previous meetings with the Lakers this season, and the last one was memorable. It was a Valentine’s Day massacre as Davis had a monster performance with 42 points and 15 rebounds in a 139-117 win as 5½-point home chalk. But tonight the Lakers will catch the Pelicans on the third leg of back-to-back-to-back games. New Orleans' tilt Wednesday night was a make-up game from the postponed February 7 meeting, and one has to consider how this will affect the Pelicans. There is no trend for this, as it is rare indeed, but if we take a quick peek at the trends above we notice that New Orleans is 5-0 ATS in back-to-back games and has far more incentive to win this game than the struggling Lakers.

L.A. has no answer for the beast that is Anthony Davis, although few teams do, and for the Lakers to keep him in check is asking too much. In addition, Pelicans starting guard Jrue Holiday returned Wednesday after a one-game absence with flu-like symptoms, and his legs should be a bit fresher than the rest. The Pelicans’ bench will get a bit more playing time tonight but against this L.A. squad, and the way they are currently playing, I’m not concerned.

Lastly, the odds are significantly lower on the favorite because of their grueling three-game stretch. Instead of laying 5½ in our NBA picks, the oddsmakers are offering the Pelicans -2, and we’ll take it.

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