Sunday marks the conclusion of the 2020-21 NBA regular season. But before we get to the postseason and new NBA Play-In Tournament, there is still plenty to be decided in terms of seeding. Among the evening matchups with a whole lot on the line is a Western Conference showdown between the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans. The reigning champs need to win and get some help to avoid landing in the play-in tourney. The NBA betting odds have sided with the road team as their pregame Lakers vs Pelicans prediction.
Lakers vs Pelicans Game Info
Los Angeles Lakers (41-30, 20-15 Away) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (31-40, 18-17 Home)
Date: Sunday, May 16, 2021
Start Time: 9 p.m. EST
Venue: Smoothie King Center —New Orleans, LA
Coverage: NBA TV
Lakers vs Pelicans NBA Betting Odds
Moneyline: LAL: (-275) | NOP: (+225)
Spread: LAL: -7 (-110) | NOP: +7 (-110)
Total: 222.5 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)
Lakers vs Pelicans NBA Betting Overview
Although they haven’t lost a game since last Friday, the Lakers still need to win and get some help on the final day of the NBA betting season to avoid the NBA Play-In Tournament. Los Angeles enters Sunday tied with the Portland Trail Blazers. Unfortunately, a loss to the Blazers last Friday ensured that the Lakers do not have the tiebreaker and would still wind up the 7-seed should the teams finish with identical records. On the bright side, L.A. figures to have the easier matchup of the two teams tonight.
As one should’ve anticipated, LeBron James was back in the lineup for the Lakers on Saturday. He nearly dropped a triple-double, finishing with 24 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds across 28 minutes of action. James is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s Lakers vs Pelicans finale along with a whole bunch of teammates. Among them is Anthony Davis, who had a 28-point, 10-rebound double-double line in Saturday’s win. The Lakers are one of the best teams in the NBA with their two superstars on the floor. Whether or not they’ll even need them both tonight is another story.
Lakers Injury Report
- Questionable: LeBron James (ankle), Anthony Davis (abductor)
- Probable: Marc Gasol (finger), Kyle Kuzma (back), Alex Caruso (foot), Jared Dudley (knee), Alfonzo McKinnie (foot)
The Pelicans seemingly had the final spot in the Western Conference Play-In Tournament presented to them for the taking. Unfortunately, a broken finger to Zion Williamson and poor play from the rest of the team will see New Orleans fall short of the postseason once again. With 2021 NBA Draft Lottery seeding now the team’s primary focus, it comes as no surprise that the Pelicans are sitting more contributors than they’re playing in Sunday’s NBA betting season finale.
Along with Williamson, each of Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball and Steven Adams have been ruled out of Sunday’s Lakers vs Pelicans matchup. It will be a makeshift lineup of reserves as a result. Youngsters Naji Marshall and Nickeil Alexander-Walker will have to play over their heads if the Pelicans are to hang with the defending NBA champions tonight. New Orleans hasn’t been a sound defensive team all season. Their defense undoubtedly gets a whole lot worse with Hart out of the lineup.
Pelicans Injury Report
- Out: Zion Williamson (finger), Brandon Ingram (ankle), Lonzo Ball (thumb), Josh Hart (thumb), Steven Adams (toe)
- Questionable: James Johnson (knee), Wes Iwundu (shoulder)
Lakers vs Pelicans NBA Betting Trends
- Lakers 2020-21 Betting Trends: 31-39-1 ATS; 28-42-1 to the Over
- Pelicans 2020-21 Betting Trends: 34-37 ATS; 42-29 to the Over
- Lakers are 3-10-1 ATS in their last 14 games.
- The total has gone under in nine of the Palicans’ last 12 games.
- Totals have gone over in six of the last seven head-to-head meetings between the Lakers and Pelicans in New Orleans.
Lakers vs Pelicans Statistics
- Los Angeles is averaging 109.5 points per game (PPG) this season (Tied for No. 22 in the NBA)
- Los Angeles is surrendering 106.9 PPG on the season (No. 2 in the NBA)
- New Orleans is averaging 114.8 PPG this season (No. 9 in the NBA)
- New Orleans is surrendering 115.0 PPG (TIed for No. 24 in the NBA)
Lakers vs Pelicans Prop Bet
Naji Marshall Under 4.5 Assists (-143)
The depleted Pelicans figure to be in for a rough season finale tonight. The NBA betting line of 4.5 assists for Naji Marshall is a bit high, to say the least. Yes, the Pelicans will be without all of their key players, but Marshall has consistently failed to eclipse this threshold. In the last ten games, he has only gone over 4.5 assists once. And that is with a corresponding rise in minutes as New Orleans has fallen apart down the stretch around him.
In 36 minutes on Friday, Marshall sparkled with 20 points and 13 rebounds but still only dished 3 total assists. The Lakers are the second-ranked scoring defense in the NBA for the season and figure to be playing with a whole lot of extra intensity tonight. Under is the clear choice for our Lakers vs Pelicans prediction.