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Los Angeles Lakers vs New Orleans Pelicans Predictions, Player Props & Picks (April 16)

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in NBA Basketball

Updated Apr 16, 2024 · 7:04 AM PDT

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James tries to drive past New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson
Apr 14, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) dribbles against New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) during the second half at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
  • The 7-vs-8 Western Conference Play-In Game features the Los Angeles Lakers vs New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night
  • The Lakers took three of four from the Pelicans during the regular season
  • See the Los Angeles Lakers vs New Orleans Pelicans predictions, player props, and picks for April 16

The NBA Play-In Tournament begins tonight with two Western Conference games. In the early tip, the Los Angeles Lakers (47-35, 19-21 away, 37-45 ATS)  meet the New Orleans Pelicans (49-33, 21-19 home 43-38- 1 ATS) for the second time in three days at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans at 7:40 pm ET.

The winner will earn the #7 seed in the West in the NBA playoff bracket and face the #2 Denver Nuggets in a best-of-seven first-round series. The loser will host the winner of Golden State vs Sacramento on Friday for the #8 seed.

New Orleans opened as a slight -115 favorite and the Lakers vs Pelicans odds have moved slightly in favor of the home team.

Lakers vs Pelicans Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Los Angeles Lakers +1.5 (-110) -100 O 223.5  (-110)
New Orleans Pelicans -1.5 (-110) -120 U 223.5  (-110)

As of 9:00 am ET on Tuesday, the Pelicans are now -120 moneyline chalk with the Lakers at even money to advance. The game total has stayed at 223.5. The Lakers were the best over bet in the NBA this season, going 47-35, but the Pelicans were basically the inverse at 36-45-1.


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Concerningly for LA fans, Anthony Davis (back) is listed as questionable for tonight’s game, while LeBron James (ankle) as listed as probable. New Orleans’ injury report is empty. Brandon Ingram returned from a three-week absence on Sunday, scoring 13 points in 23 minutes.

Lakers Demolish Pelicans in Final Regular-Season Game

The Pelicans would have avoided the Play-In Tournament entirely, and earned a more favorable matchup with the #3 Minnesota Timberwolves, if they had been able to beat LA on Sunday in the regular-season finale. Instead, the Lakers won each of the first three quarters by at least five points and carried an insurmountable 23-point lead into the final 12 minutes.

Both of LA’s stars were phenomenal. Davis had a team-high 30 points and 11 rebounds, while LeBron had 28 points, 11 rebounds, and an eye-popping 17 assists. All five Laker starters finished in double-figures, including 20 from Austin Reaves on 8-of-12 shooting. D’Angelo Russell had 19 points on 5-of-10 from beyond the arc.

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Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas played just seven minutes and the Lakers dominated in the post. LA outscored New Orleans 68-42 in the paint, which rendered the Pelicans’ 15-of-37 (40.5%) performance from three meaningless.

The Lakers also neat the Pelicans 133-89 on Dec. 7 and 139-122 on Feb. 9, both at home. The Pelicans’ lone win against the Lakers this season was a 129-109 victory in NOLA on Dec. 31.

Pelicans Have No Discernible Home-Court Advantage

Alongside Miami, New Orleans is one of only top top-eight teams in either conference to finish the regular season with more wins on the road than at home. They ranked 25th in attendance (just over 17,000) and finished the regular season with five straight setbacks at the Smoothie King Center (compared to a six-game road win streak). Their ongoing skid includes losses to the NBA-leading Boston Celtics (104-92) and Kevin Durant’s Phoenix Suns (124-111), but it also features an ugly 111-109 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, who finished the season just 22-60.

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The good news for the Pelicans are that the Lakers are the only top-ten team in the West with a losing record away from home (19-21).

Do the Lakers Want to Win?

Somewhat ironically, LA’s motivation tonight may not be all that high. A win tonight cements a date with the reigning-champion Denver Nuggets, who swept the Lakers in the Western Conference finals last season, and also went 3-0 against LA during the regular season this year. If the Lakers earn the #8 seed, however, they would face an extremely young and untested OKC Thunder team that they went 3-1 against in the regular season.

I am not suggesting LA is going to tank. But if they do fall behind, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if head coach Darvin Ham started resting James and Davis in anticipation of Friday’s home game against either the Warriors or Kings.

LAL vs NOLA Player Props

Player Points Rebounds Assists Three-Pointers Made
Anthony Davis (LAL) 24.5 (Ov -118 | Un -102) 12.5 (Ov -142 | Un +120) 2.5 (Ov -148 | Un +124) 0.5 (Ov +105 | Un -125)
Austin Reaves (LAL) 14.5 (Ov -118 | Un -102) 3.5 (Ov -112 | Un -108) 4.5 (Ov +102| Un -122) 2.5 (Ov +130 | Un -155)
Brandon Ingram (NOLA) 18.5 (Ov -110 | Un -110) 4.5 (Ov -135| Un +114) 4.5 (Ov -112 | Un -108) 1.5 (Ov +120 | Un -142)
CJ McCollum (NOLA) 23.5 (Ov +105 | Un -125) 4.5 (Ov +102 | Un -122) 5.5 (Ov +110 | Un -130) 3.5 (Ov -155 | Un +130)
D’Angelo Russell (LAL) 16.5 (Ov -115 | Un -105) 3.5 (Ov +130 | Un -155) 5.5 (Ov -100 | Un -120) 3.5 (Ov +130 | Un -155)
Herbert Jones (NOLA) 10.5 (Ov -110 | Un -110) 3.5 (Ov -112 | Un -108) 2.5 (Ov +124 | Un -148) 1.5 (Ov -100 | Un -120)
Jonas Valanciunas (NOLA) 6.5 (Ov -100 | Un -120) 5.5 (Ov +114 | Un -135) OFF 0.5 (Ov +285 | Un -360)
LeBron James (LAL) 26.5 (Ov -108 | Un -112) 7.5 (Ov -130 | Un +110) 8.5 (Ov -155 | Un +130) 1.5 (Ov -135 | Un +114)
Rui Hachimura (LAL) 13.5 (Ov -105 | Un -115) 4.5 (Ov -135 | Un +114) OFF 1.5 (Ov  -108 | Un -112)
Trey Murphy III (NOLA) 12.5 (Ov +102 | Un -122) 4.5 (Ov -118 | Un -102) OFF 2.5 (Ov -112 | Un -108)
Zion Williamson (NOLA) 24.5 (Ov -102 | Un -118) 6.5 (Ov -120 | Un -100) 5.5 (Ov -135 | Un +114) OFF

LeBron has the highest point total of the night at 26.5 O/U, along with the highest assist total at 8.5 O/U. Zion Williamson leads the Pelicans at 24.5, followed closely by CJ McCollum at 23.5. Ingram, who averaged just over 20 PPG during the regular season, is listed at just 18.5 O/U as he continues to work his way back from injury.

Lakers vs Pelicans Prediction

I would be taking a strong position on the Lakers here if I didn’t have a nagging thought in the back of my mind that LeBron and company really don’t want to face the Nuggets in the first round. When LA needed a win to stay out of the 9-vs-10 game on the final day of the regular season, their stars showed out and the outcome was never in doubt. If the Timberwolves had managed to beat the Suns at home on Sunday, then the #7 seed in the West would be facing Minnesota. But Phoenix pulled off a small upset, allowing Denver to earn the #2 seed.

I still lean Lakers, and I expect more domination in the post from AD, but I’m approaching with caution.

LAL vs NOLA picks:

  • Lakers moneyline (-100)
  • Davis over 24.5 points (-118) 

Sascha Paruk’s 2023-24 NBA betting record:

  • 19-25 moneyline (+2.26 units)
  • 24-20-2 ATS (+3.81 units)
  • 1-1 over/under (-0.09 units)
  • 9-15 player props (-7.17 units)
  • 0-3 same-game parlay (-3.00 units)
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