The resurgent Los Angeles Lakers hope to have their regular starting lineup available when they begin a season-ending two-game road trip at the Indiana Pacers on Saturday afternoon. LeBron James (ankle) practiced Friday and is listed as questionable along with Anthony Davis (groin) for the Lakers (40-30), who also announced that guard Dennis Schroder is no longer in COVID-19 protocols. Los Angeles has won three straight and must win its final two to have a chance to climb out of the play-in tournament. The Pacers (33-37) are in ninth place in the East but have a chance to move up to eighth or fall back into 10th with two games left.
Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET from Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The latest Lakers vs. Pacers odds from William Hill Sportsbook list Los Angeles as a seven-point favorite. The over-under for total points is set at 226. Before finalizing any Pacers vs. Lakers picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned over $9,100 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up over $1,100 on its top-rated picks this season and entered Week 21 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 99-64 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread dating back to last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Lakers vs. Pacers spread: Lakers -7
- Lakers vs. Pacers over-under: 226 points
- Lakers vs. Pacers money line: Lakers -280; Pacers +240
- LAL: The Lakers are 1-5 in their last six road games
- IND: The Pacers are only 13-22 at home
Why the Lakers can cover
Davis, who averaged 32.7 points and 10.0 rebounds in a three-game stretch before sitting out Wednesday vs. Houston, initially was listed as probable Friday but was later downgraded to questionable. Schroder cleared health and safety protocols after missing seven games and a determination on his status will be made Saturday. He was playing very well before going on the shelf, averaging 19.2 points and 9.2 assists in a six-game stretch late last month.
Los Angeles ranks in the top four in the league in scoring defense (106.8 points) and 3-point field goal defense (35.4) and both were on display in a 105-100 win over the Pacers in March, holding them to 8 of 36 from behind the arc. The forward tandem of Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell came off the bench to contribute a combined 41 points, 19 rebounds and three blocked shots in that win. The duo also combined for 35 points in Wednesday's win over the Rockets.
Why the Pacers can cover
Indiana has already had five players ruled out so the Pacers are hoping any or all of the three players listed as questionable -- Domantas Sabonis (quad), Caris LeVert (knee) and Aaron Holiday (toe) -- are able to go. Sabonis was on his way to his third triple-double in four games when he was kneed in the thigh in the third quarter of Thursday's loss to Milwaukee. Sabonis, who wanted to return to the game, had notched a double-double in 13 of his last 14 games.
LeVert, who was forced to sit out Thursday, had averaged 27.5 points over his previous four games, including three double-doubles, and scored over 30 points in half of the last eight contests. Justin Holiday is coming off a season-high 26-point outing in which he became the fifth player in franchise history to bury eight 3-pointers in one game. T.J. McConnell shook off a thumb injury to collect 23 points, seven assists and three steals Thursday.
How to make Pacers vs. Lakers picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 224 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits over 60 percent of the time. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Pacers vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread hits over 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is on a roll on NBA picks.