The Los Angeles Lakers are on the verge of missing the NBA playoffs.
LeBron James will return to the court Friday night in a must-watch game against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Lakers, tied for the 10th seed in the Western Conference with the San Antonio Spurs, must rush to participate in the Play-In tournament, starting April 12.
James has missed recent games with an ankle injury but will go through pre-match warm-ups in hopes of adapting.
Odds courtesy of WynnBET Sports Betting
Pelicans vs Lakers Odds, Spread & Total
- Pelicans: -2 (-110)
- Lakers: +2 (-110)
- Pelicans: -130
- Lakers: +110
Total: 230.5 (Over -110/Under -110)
Prediction and choice of the Pelicans against the Lakers
The Lakers, despite James likely returning, are scoring points at home against the Pelicans, who were much better with CJ McCollum on the floor. Since the All-Star break, the Pellies have been in the top five in the net rankings and are ready for play-in play.
Will James lead a heroic run to the playoffs, or are the Lakers just finished? The team plays back-to-back after a game at Utah on Thursday night and now gets a well-rested New Orleans club that has a ton of offensive firepower with McCollum and Brandon Ingram on the perimeter.
I’m going to side with the pluses in this one as I expect James’ return to coincide with his scoring bid as well. He needs to play three games to qualify for the scoring title and is neck and neck with Giannis Antetokounmpo going into the last handful of games.
James is an offensive powerhouse, but his defense can’t save the Lakers, who will struggle against an emerging Pelicans offense. I can’t trust LA even in a must win, so I’m going to side with the pluses, which is 3 points less than the meeting these two had in mid-March.
PAYOUT: OVER 230.5 (-110)
You can find all of Reed’s bets HERE!