The Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans play a huge game for playoff position in the Western Conference on Tuesday night.
Both teams come into this game with 33-35 records on the season, but the Lakers have the edge in the season series at two games to one. If Los Angeles can win on Tuesday night, it will have a tiebreaker advantage over New Orleans in the play-in tournament picture.
The Lakers are still without superstar LeBron James, but the Pelicans are shorthanded as well with Zion Williamson and Jose Alvarado listed as out for this game. Brandon Ingram (ankle) is questionable.
With Utah losing on Monday night, the Lakers jumped back into the No. 9 spot in the West. Can they hold that position with a win tonight?
Lakers vs. Pelicans odds, spread and total
Lakers vs. Pelicans prediction and pick
These two teams are trending in completely opposite directions at the moment.
Los Angeles is 8-4 since the trade deadline, winning seven of its last 10 games to get back in the mix for a playoff spot in the West. Meanwhile, the Pelicans have fallen off a cliff without Williamson, losing seven of their last 10 games.
Losing James has not hurt the Lakers as much as one would expect, as the team is ninth in net rating over its last 10 contests.
The Pelicans have been a much better team at home (22-12) than on the road (11-23) this season, but I don’t think I can trust them tonight with Ingram still up in the air for this game.
The Pels are just 27th in offensive rating over their last 10 games, and they may have a hard time keeping up with a Lakers team that loves to push the pace.
Los Angeles looks like a whole new team since the deadline, and it is with all the moves it made. I’ll take the Lakers in a pick’em scenario on Tuesday.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.