The Los Angeles Lakers, desperate to revive their fading playoff hopes, look for a much-needed victory when they host the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. ET. The Lakers came out of the All-Star break with an impressive comeback win against the Houston Rockets, but have since dropped two straight road games. One of those losses came at New Orleans, which beat Los Angeles by 13 on Saturday. The Lakers (29-31) enter Wednesday three games behind the struggling San Antonio Spurs (33-29) for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoff race. Los Angeles is a 5.5-point favorite and the over-under for total points scored is 239.5 in the latest Lakers vs. Pelicans odds. Before you lock in your Lakers vs. Pelicans picks, check out the NBA predictions from SportsLine's proven model.
The model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, is crushing its NBA picks. It entered Week 20 of the 2018-19 NBA season with a sterling 222-169 record on all top-rated picks, returning more than $4,000 to anybody following them. It has been particularly red-hot on its A-rated NBA picks against the spread, entering Week 20 on a blistering 46-32 run. Anybody who has followed it is way up.
Now it has locked in on Lakers vs. Pelicans. We can tell you the model is leaning under, and it also has revealed a strong against-the-spread pick that hits well over 50 percent of the time. That pick is available at SportsLine.
The model knows the Lakers, who play five of their next six games at the Staples Center, should be motivated for a breakout performance Wednesday as their playoff hopes continue to hang by a thread. Their 110-105 loss to Memphis on Monday as a five-point favorite served as the latest in a series of missed opportunities to make up ground.
LeBron James had a triple-double with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, while Brandon Ingram finished with 32 points. James has publicly criticized his youth-laden surrounding cast but, after Monday's loss, he offered positive reinforcement and coach Luke Walton said he was pleased with the team's effort and poise.
The Lakers lost to the Pelicans on Saturday despite 29 points from Ingram and 27 points and 12 assists from James. They shot 54.3 percent from the field and had 33 assists on 44 field goals. The home team has covered four straight meetings in this series, while the favorite is on a 7-1 run against the spread.
Despite its improved play, Los Angeles is far from a sure thing to cover the Lakers vs. Pelicans spread on Wednesday.
The Pelicans beat the Lakers without the services of Anthony Davis, their high-profile star who recently asked to be traded from New Orleans. A pairing with James in Los Angeles was widely believed to be his destination, but no deal was made before the trade deadline. Coach Alvin Gentry said he chose to rest Davis on the second of back-to-back games, but the Pelicans still prevailed behind 27 points from Jrue Holiday.
The uncertainty surrounding Davis puts the team in the awkward position of having a healthy but unhappy All-Star who undoubtedly improves the Pelicans' chances of winning when he's on the court but could seriously damage his trade value should he suffer a serious injury. Davis had 18 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes for New Orleans in its 111-110 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night. He is expected to see some playing time Wednesday.
Who wins Pelicans vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Pelicans vs. Lakers spread you should be all over Wednesday, all from the model that's up more than $4,000 on NBA picks this season.