Los Angeles Lakers (31-39) at New Orleans Pelicans (42-30)
The winning streak is still alive as we picked up yet another win last night! We backed the New Orleans Pelicans at home as underdogs against the Indiana Pacers. I was a bit shocked to see the Pelicans as home dogs, especially against a team that is as mediocre on the road as the Pacers. The game was a tight one throughout, but in the end, the Pelicans won the game outright 96-92.
To start the second half the Pelicans looked like they were victims of some tired legs and came out flat, but they were able to rally in the fourth quarter and steal the much-needed game at home. Today we will stay right here in New Orleans as the Pelicans look to play their third game in three nights as they host the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers will travel to New Orleans Thursday night to play the Pelicans. The Lakers will be without their leading scorer Brandon Ingram and have lost three straight games. It has been an up and down year for the Lakers as they continue to evaluate their young talent for next season.
For the Pelicans they are forced to play on three consecutive nights as they had to play a makeup game last night against the Pacers. The Pelicans are 2-0 during that tough stretch of scheduling and will look for the tripleheader sweep tonight.
The Pelicans are -3-point home favorites. The game total over-under is set at 228.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:00 PM PST from the Smoothie King Center.
Look, sometimes the NBA schedule makes it really hard to compete. That is what is happening tonight with the New Orleans Pelicans. Before the season the NBA got rid of what used to be a major scheduling F-U, the four games in five nights stretch. They realized that playing multiple games in a row really affected teams play and they figured it was good for the competitive balance of the NBA to discontinue that type of scheduling.
That brings us to tonight’s game in New Orleans. The Pelicans will be playing on their third consecutive night. A leaky roof in February forced the Pelicans to schedule a makeup game against the Pacers last night. Now they must play the Lakers tonight, a team that enjoyed a three-day break.
The NBA knows for a fact this type of scheduling is hard on the players and that the product we are going to get on the floor is subpar, yet they scheduled it anyway. I guess it is a tough as these makeup games can be hard to schedule and rarely if ever, happen. But if you are a Pelicans fan, it must feel like you are getting punished tonight.
You saw the ill effects of too much play last night as the Pelicans looked very tired in the second half. They managed to gut out the win, but they scored just 96 points. That is the lowest points scored for New Orleans in a win all season long. You have to wonder if they will have anything left in the tank tonight?
The Pelicans plan heading into this stretch was to limit Anthony Davis’ minutes and attempt to keep him under thirty-two minutes a game to keep him fresh. He played over thirty-five minutes in each game as both games were just too close to pull him out. The Brow is a beast, but you have to know he won’t be at 100% tonight.
As you can see I am not talking too much about the Lakers in this matchup. That because I am not betting on the Lakers, I am betting against the Pelicans. The Lakers just happen to be on the right side of a brutal stretch of scheduling and should be the much fresher team tonight.
I get it, the Pelicans are the much better team, I’m not sure you can even debate the other side. But they might not score ninety points tonight as their gas tank will be on close to empty.
This line opened at New Orleans -3.5 points and the sharps quickly bet it down to -3 points as they see the same thing I am seeing. I wouldn’t be shocked to see this number dip even further. I like New Orleans a lot this year, and I am excited to see this team in the playoffs, but if there were ever a spot where a team will get a free pass for giving a half effort it would be tonight in New Orleans.
I think the Lakers end up taking this game outright, but just in case the Pelicans find a way to gut out another late victory, I will snatch up the three-point insurance policy. I just don’t see any way this isn’t a one-possession game late, so taking the three points, I feel confident we are on the right side of this one.
Give me the Lakers +3 points tonight from the Big Easy!