Pelicans vs. Lakers prediction and odds for NBA In-Season Tournament Semifinals

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Los Angeles Lakers' In-Season Tournament matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves. / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James are one win away from advancing to the NBA In-Season Tournament Final on Saturday night, but they’ll need to get past Brandon Ingram and the New Orleans Pelicans to do so. 

Both of these teams are getting healthy at the right time, with several key players returning in the last week. That should make this a fun matchup in Las Vegas, and oddsmakers have set the Lakers as just two-point favorites, suggesting that we’ll get a close game tonight. 

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Let’s break down the odds and my best bet for this In-Season Tournament showdown: 

Pelicans vs. Lakers odds, spread and total

Pelicans vs. Lakers how to watch 

  • Date: Thursday, Dec. 7
  • Game Time: 9:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: T-Mobile Arena
  • How to Watch (TV): truTV/TNT
  • Pelicans Record: 12-10
  • Lakers Record: 13-9

Pelicans vs. Lakers injury reports

Pelicans injury report

  • Larry Nance Jr. – out
  • Matt Ryan – out

Lakers injury report

  • Anthony Davis – probable
  • Rui Hachimura – available
  • Jarred Vanderbilt – probable
  • Gabe Vincent – out
  • LeBron James – questionable

Pelicans vs. Lakers key players to watch

New Orleans Pelicans

Brandon Ingram: With everyone healthy for New Orleans, Ingram still appears to be the top option on offense, scoring 30 points on 10-of-20 shooting against the Sacramento Kings. He should draw the Lakers’ top-wing defenders tonight. 

Los Angeles Lakers

Austin Reaves: Reaves hit the game-clinching shot on Tuesday night, and he’s been thriving in a bench role, averaging 14.5 points per game on 49.3 percent shooting in 14 games. He had 20 on Tuesday against the Suns. 

Anthony Davis: After beating the Suns on Tuesday night, the Lakers moved to 10-3 on the season when Davis scored 20 or more points. They’re going to need him to have a big game against his former team on Thursday. 

Pelicans vs. Lakers prediction and pick

Both of these teams thrive at home (Los Angeles is 9-2, New Orleans is 8-4), so it’ll be interesting to see how they perform in a neutral-site game in the In-Season Tournament. 

I do lean with the Lakers in this matchup because of their defensive ability (No. 9 in defensive rating this season), and with Vanderbilt back, they have more bodies to deal with Ingram and Zion Williamson. 

New Orleans is an impressive 9-3-1 against the spread as an underdog this season, but a lot of that success has come as a home dog (5-1 ATS) and this game is at a neutral site. 

The Lakers are a tough team to handicap at this point in the season because they haven’t been fully healthy for more than a handful of games, but they’ve allowed just 97 and 103 points in the two games since Vanderbilt returned to the rotation. 

I’ll take the Lakers to win outright and avoid laying the points here. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.