New Orleans hopes to start February off a lot better than January when it hosts the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday. Check out the entire breakdown below and see which team we expect to walk away with a huge Western Conference win.
Los Angeles Lakers Vs. New Orleans Pelicans Betting Odds
Los Angeles is a narrow one-point road favorite against the New Orleans Pelicans this weekend.
The Pelicans will still be without Dyson Daniels and Zion Williamson, as the two are recovering from injuries in hopes of returning for the playoffs. E.J. Liddell is out for the Pels once again, too.
Austin Reaves, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis are questionable heading into this matchup for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Los Angeles Lakers Vs. New Orleans Pelicans Prediction
New Orleans has dealt with several injuries that have caused it to drop from first place in the Western Conference through the first fourth of the season to 11th, where they currently stand. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram have missed large portions of the season, and C.J. McCollum has only been able to do so much.
In the month of January, the Pelicans had a 3-13 record, amongst the worst in the NBA; their net rating was -6.7. It is difficult to diagnose any one particular thing as the issue for New Orleans, but the best way for it to turn the season back around is to pick up the intensity on defense and ball movement on offense, similar to last year after the All-Star break.
Meanwhile, the future of the Lakers is equally as murky as rumors of a Kyrie Irving trade have surrounded the team and the league. Still, they have done well since acquiring Rui Hachimura in an unexpected trade with the Washington Wizards. Since acquiring Rui, Los Angeles is 3-2 but has played four of those games on the road.
Hachimura has averaged 12 points and 6.5 rebounds since being moved to the west coast and has fit in quite well with the Lakers. His presence gives Los Angeles some much-needed depth in the frontcourt and another piece who can help its Western Conference relevancy.
The Lakers have won back-to-back road games, while New Orleans is in a free fall. I like backing Los Angeles in this spot as long as James and Davis give it a go. Expect its starting frontcourt of Hachimura, LeBron, and Anthony Davis to have a huge day, if healthy.
- Los Angeles is 12-15-1 ATS on the road in 2022-23
- New Orleans is 14-12 ATS at home in 2022-23
- The combined over record of these two teams is 57-49 in 2022-23
The key matchup for this bout belongs to Anthony Davis and Jonas Valanciunas, the big men for each team. See below why one of them can help lead their team to victory!
Anthony Davis vs. Jonas Valanciunas
Anthony Davis had an incredible stretch during the early portion of the 2022-23 season that even led to talks of him being a dark horse MVP candidate. Unfortunately, the injury bug came for him, as he was forced to miss roughly a month of time between December and January.
Davis has played in four games since returning from injury and progressively is looking like himself again. Last game, he posted 31 points, 14 rebounds, and three “stocks” (steals and blocks.)
Meanwhile, Valanciunas has had some volatile output for the struggling Pelicans; he has averaged just 21 minutes per game in his past three games. Based on his past few seasons, he has had a down year.
In his past four games against Valanciunas, AD has posted 26.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 3.8 “stocks.” He has dominated this matchup and should continue to do so in this one. Advantage: AD.
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
New Orleans Pelicans Starting Lineups
Los Angeles Lakers Injuries: Austin Reaves (Q)
New Orleans Pelicans Injuries: Zion Williamson (Out), Dyson Daniels (Out), E.J. Liddell (Out)