Los Angeles Lakers at New Orleans Pelicans
Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at 9:30 PM (Smoothie King Center)
Lakers -6.5; Total 228 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Los Angeles Lakers (15-2) will take its NBA-best record into Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Wednesday to face the Pelicans (6-11) with hopes of winning their ninth consecutive game.
Hopes for the Pelicans winning at home aren’t great considering that the Lakers haven’t lost outside of Staples Center all year long. Los Angeles lost a home game to Toronto 113-104 on Nov. 10, while its other loss came on opening night when the Lakers lost a designated road game at Staples against the Clippers, 112-102. But in road games outside of Staples Center, Los Angeles is 7-0. Interestingly enough, however, the Lakers are only winning by an average of 6.3 points, well under their home margin of victory of 15.5 points per game.
In the Lakers’ most recent game, a 114-104 win at struggling San Antonio, LeBron James led all scorers with 33 points and 14 assists while former Pelican Anthony Davis added 19 points and 12 rebounds. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 14 points on 3-of-5 shooting from long range, and Ramon Rondo hit all three of his long-range shots coming off the bench for 13 points.
The Lakers have just three players averaging in double-digits in scoring, but they also have two of the top 14 scorers in the entire NBA. In addition to James ranking 11th in scoring with 25.6 points per game, he also leads the entire NBA averaging 11.0 assists per game. Davis is just behind, ranking 14th in scoring at 25.1 points per game and 21st in rebounds at 9.0 per game. Kyle Khama adds 12.0 points per game mostly off the bench and Avery Bradley scores 9.8 points per game.
After the Pelicans started the season at 1-7 knowing the Zion Williamson was still a way off before returning from knee surgery, things looked bleak in New Orleans. But since that time, the Pelicans have won five of nine including four of their last seven. They are coming off of back-to-back road losses, falling 128-120 at Utah and 134-109 at the Clippers. But New Orleans now returns home where it has won the last three games, including a win over those same Clippers as well as Portland and Phoenix.
In the most recent loss to the Clippers, Brandon Ingram led his team in scoring with 24 points to go along with eight rebounds and five assists. Rue Holiday added 18 points and seven rebounds while E’Twaun Moore added 17 points off the bench on 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range. JJ Redick scored 12 points in the loss against his former team, and Jahlil Okafor with six rebounds in the losing effort.
Ingram leads his team in scoring and is eighth in the NBA scoring 26.1 points per game and he adds 7.2 rebounds per game. Holiday is tied for third in the league in steals at 2.1 per game, 12th in the league with 7.0 assists per game, and second on his team scoring 18.7 points per game. Redick adds 15.1 points per game, Josh Hart averages 12.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, London Ball scores 11.1 points per game, and Moore added 11.0 points per game. Okafor just misses double-digit scoring with 9.9 points per game.
For the season, the Lakers have had an elite defense at home, but only league average on the road. Los Angeles ranks 4th in the NBA in defensive scoring this season allowing just 103.1 points per game and it is the best in the league at home allowing just 96.7 points per game. But on the road, the Lakers are 16th in the league allowing 111.4 points per game. That makes this matchup much more interesting at Smoothie King Center than it would be at Staples.
On top of all that, the Lakers have been good against the spread with a 10-7 record this season, but they are just 4-4 on the road and 3-4 as a favorite playing on the road against the spread. The record gets even worse at just 1-2 when they play with a rest disadvantage as they will on Wednesday night. The Pelicans don’t look like a great team against the spread carrying just an 8-9 record, but they are 5-3 against the spread at Smoothie King Center and 3-1 against the spread as a home underdog.
All of this adds up to an unlikely pick of New Orleans in this game. As always, the Lakers will most likely win, but a team that scores as much as the Pelicans do playing a team that allows as much scoring as the Lakers do on the road will most likely allow New Orleans to stay in the game until the end. Lakers will most likely win, but the Pelicans will keep it close. Take New Orleans plus the points.