Pacers vs. Lakers NBA Pick: Take Road Chalk at Short Spread

Darin Zank

Sunday, January 4, 2015 3:55 PM GMT

The Indiana Pacers may be an afterthought in most NBA bettors minds at the moment, but they've been a great bet ATS lately. Can they keep that good fortune going when they visit the Lakers Sunday night?

Pacers-Lakers Betting Odds
Most of the NBA betting odds market opened this game at Indiana -1.5, with total of right around 201. In the early betting the spread was holding steady, while the total inched to 202.

 

Pacers-Lakers: Background
Indiana recently struggled through an eight-game losing streak, but has won five of its last seven, and two in a row, after beating the Bucks in Milwaukee Friday night 94-91. The Pacers only shot 43 percent from the floor, but held the Bucks to 43 percent shooting and made 16 of 20 free-throws, winning outright as two-point underdogs.

Just before that Indiana defeated Miami 106-95, making 26 of 30 free-throws, covering as four-point favorites.

At 13-21 Indiana only trails eighth-place Miami by one game in the Eastern Conference standings.

LA, meanwhile, actually won three games in a row back before Christmas, but has lost seven of nine since then, including a 109-106 decision to the Grizzlies at home Friday night. The Lakers shot 53 percent from the field Friday, but a Kobe 3-pointer at the buzzer missed. However, LA hung on for the cover as a four-point home dog.

Just before that the Lakers had snapped a three-game losing streak with a 111-103 victory at Denver. LA shot 53 percent that night, too, and made 14 of 25 shots from 3-point land.

Also, for all their struggles, the Lakers are 7-3-1 ATS over their last 11 games.

At 10-23 LA trails Phoenix by eight games for eighth place in the Western Conference.

Indiana took the first meeting this season between these two teams 110-91 three weeks ago back in Indianapolis. The Pacers grabbed an early 12-point lead and never let LA get within single-digits after that, leading at one point in the second quarter by 39 points.

Indiana shot 48 percent from the floor that night, held the Lakers to 33 percent shooting and covered as a five-point favorite.

Last season the Pacers swept two games from LA, by scores of 104-92 and 118-98.

 

Pacers-Lakers: Key Numbers
Indiana ranks just 26th in the league in FG shooting at 43 percent, and 24th in FT shooting at under 74 percent. The Pacers also rank seventh in FG defense, holding foes to 44 percent shooting, seventh in rebounding at +2.5 per game, and own a 21/14 average assist-to-turnover ratio.

LA ranks 23rd in FG shooting at 44 percent, 20th in FT shooting at 74 percent, 29th (that's second-worst) in FG defense, allowing foes to shoot almost 48 percent, 27th in rebounding at -2.6 per game, and owns a 21/12 A/TO ratio.

 

Pacers-Lakers Betting Trends
LA is 4-12 SU, 7-8 ATS at home this season, while Indiana is 6-12 SU but 13-4 ATS on the road.

LA is 18-15 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as Lakers games have averaged 212 points, second-most in the league. Los Angeles has allowed at least 102 points in each of its last nine games.

Indiana is 19-14 on the totals, even as Pacers games have averaged just 191 points.

 

Injury Update
Indiana is a little banged up at the moment; of course, they're already playing without F Paul George, who's gone for the season with that nasty leg injury; and G George Hill, who just came back after missing the whole season with a bad quad, and averaged 14 points through his first five games, just pulled a groin and is out for Sunday; and fellow guard CJ Watson (11 points, four assists) is questionable with a sore foot.

 

Pacers-Lakers Free Pick
Indiana has won the last three games against LA all by double-digits, and despite the injury bug there's just not much reason to believe something similar won't happen again Sunday night. So we'll go with the road chalk for our NBA pick today, at the short spread.

Free NBA Pick: Pacers -1.5 at Pinnacle Sports