The Los Angeles Lakers will be in New Orleans to take on the Pelicans on Sunday afternoon. It’s time to continue our NBA odds series and make a Lakers-Pelicans prediction and pick.

In their eyes, Los Angeles has everything to lose in this game. If they win and the Portland Trail Blazers fall, the Lakers will avoid the dreaded play-in tournament. If they don’t, they will be hosting the winner of the Golden Stat Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies game in the first round of the play-in. Will the Lakers take care of business in NOLA and find a way to grab the sixth seed in the Western Conference?

Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Lakers-Pelicans odds.

NBA Odds: Lakers-Pelicans Odds

Los Angeles Lakers -8 (-105)

New Orleans Pelicans +8 (-115)

Over 222.5 Points (-110)

Under 222.5 Points (-110)


Why The Lakers Could Cover The Spread

The return of LeBron James and Anthony Davis has been highly anticipated for months. With the postseason right around the corner, the big two are finally back on the floor for their club. We’ve already seen a huge improvement team on both ends of the floor since getting their leaders back from extended injuries.

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James missed 20 games with a high ankle sprain and then another six recently after re-aggravating the injury. The Lakers looked like themselves again in their last game against the Pacers, as LeBron had the offense flowing and the defense thriving. James registered 24 points, seven boards, and eight assists in the win.

The play of Anthony Davis and Andre Drummond will be crucial at this point in the season. They each posted double-doubles in the win against Indiana and seemed to be controlling the front court throughout. Having Dennis Schroder back on the floor was promising and this club looks ready to make a miraculous run in the postseason.


Why The Pelicans Could Cover The Spread

The New Orleans Pelicans have lost their stars and will now look forward to getting them healthy in the offseason. They’ve been eliminated from the playoffs and are now using these last few games to get a good look at some of their younger pieces. The Pelicans have been fighting down the stretch and would love to play spoiler against the Lakers.

New Orleans was defeated by the Golden State Warriors in their last game. Without Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and a few other key pieces, New Orleans pushed it to within three points late in the game. The Pels got contributions down the line as six guys went for double-figures in the loss. Nickeil Alexander-Walker led the way for his club with 30 points.

Two guys that this team loves going forward are Naji Marshall and Jaxson Hayes. Hayes is a bouncy center and Marshall is a versatile guy that the Pelicans just locked in for a few years. New Orleans would love to use this opportunity to see where those two guys may fit in the rotation next season.


Final Lakers-Pelicans Prediction & Pick

This game should feature a ton of points as it seems all the Lakers really needed was for LeBron to get back to facilitating on the offensive end. The offense seems free-flowing and with Schroder back as well, there’s no shortage of primary ball handlers on this club. New Orleans has the requisite scoring capabilities and lackluster defense that makes this game prime to go over the total.

FINAL PICK: Over 222.5 Points (-110)