The Indiana Pacers are in a fight for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and will look to get back on track when they play the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday. The Pacers had been the hottest team in NBA's bubble before dropping a 114-99 decision to Phoenix on Thursday, to fall to 42-27. The Lakers, meanwhile, have locked up the top seed in the Western Conference at 51-17. Indiana, which is in fifth and tied with Philadelphia, trails the Miami Heat by one game.
Tip-off from HP Field House in Orlando, Fla., is set for 6 p.m. ET. Indiana has won three of four since the restart, while Los Angeles has dropped three of four. Los Angeles is the 6.5-point favorite in the latest Lakers vs. Pacers odds from William Hill, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 218. Before making any Pacers vs. Lakers picks, check out the latest NBA predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it's already returned well over $4,200 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 54-32 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $1,900 on those picks alone. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Lakers vs. Pacers spread: Lakers -6.5
- Lakers vs. Pacers over-under: 218 points
- Lakers vs. Pacers money line: Lakers -250, Pacers +210
- LAL: Is 27-8 as the road team in 2019-20
- IND: Is 10th in the NBA in free-throw percentage at 78.9
Why the Lakers can cover
Los Angeles will look to get into playoff shape as it tries to make a run at an NBA Championship for the first time since 2010, when it won its second consecutive title. The Lakers lead the all-time series with the Pacers, 60-31. Los Angeles hasn't had much problem offensively this season, ranking 10th in the league in points scored (113) and first in field-goal percentage (47.9).
Despite the absence of Rajon Rondo (7.1 points), who is out after right thumb surgery, and with Alex Caruso (neck spasms) and LeBron James (sore right groin) questionable, the Lakers have plenty of fire power, led by forward Anthony Davis (26.4 points). In 10 career games against the Pacers, he is averaging 19.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. He scored 42 points on Monday against the Utah Jazz in a 116-108 win. Davis has scored 30 or more points twice since the restart. Early reports indicate that James will be on the floor Saturday, boosting the case for Los Angeles.
Why the Pacers can cover
Even so, Los Angeles isn't a lock to cover the Lakers vs. Pacers spread. That's because the Pacers have won their last seven home games against Los Angeles and have won the last two games in the series and six of nine. Indiana defeated the Lakers 105-102 on Dec. 17. The Pacers are 15-9 against the Western Conference and are 23-11 this season as the home team.
Forward TJ Warren, who is questionable with a foot injury, had been red hot prior to the loss to Phoenix, averaging 39.7 points since the restart before being held to 16 points against the Suns. Warren is capable of putting up big numbers, scoring 53 in a 127-121 win over Philadelphia on Aug. 1. Warren was held to just 12 points in the first meeting with the Lakers, but is averaging 15.9 points and 5.7 rebounds in 11 career games against Los Angeles.
How to make Lakers vs. Pacers picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total as three players go for 20 or more points in the simulations. It also says one side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Lakers vs. Pacers? And which side of the spread hits over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Pacers vs. Lakers spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $4,200 on its NBA picks this season, and find out.