Amid all of the NBA trade rumors swirling around L.A., the Lakers’ season carries on. And after looking like one of the Eastern Conference’s premier teams through the first half of the season, Indiana lost All-Star guard Victor Oladipo for the season with a knee injury. Where does their season go from here? Indiana still holds the No. 4 seed in the East and has enough talent to make a playoff run if they make a move at the trade deadline, but can they really challenge the East’s top teams without Oladipo? Tipoff for this drama-packed game is set for 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Sportsbooks list the Lakers as 2.5-point road favorites, while the Over-Under, or a total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 217.5 in the latest Lakers vs. Pacers odds. Before you make any Lakers vs. Pacers picks, see what SportsLine’s advanced computer model has to say.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, is crushing its NBA picks this season. It entered Week 17 of the 2018-19 NBA season with a sterling 200-146 record on all top-rated picks, returning more than $4,000 to anybody following them. And it has been particularly red-hot on its A-rated NBA picks against the spread, entering Week 17 on a blistering 35-19 run. Anybody following it is way up.
Now it has locked in on Lakers vs. Pacers. We can tell you it’s leaning Under, but it has also locked in a confident against-the-spread pick that hits in nearly 60 percent of simulations. You can only see that selection at SportsLine.
The model is well aware of what a struggle it has been for Indiana without their All-Star guard. The Pacers are just 2-4 since Oladipo’s injuries, with losses against bottom-tier teams like the Grizzlies, Wizards, and Magic. They’ve covered the spread just once in their last seven games, and the model understands how difficult it will be for them on the end of a back-to-back against a LeBron-led Lakers squad.
James heads into this game with five days of rest after taking this weekend’s game off, and he has been unstoppable when rested this season. In ten games that LeBron has had at least two days of rest, he’s averaging 29.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 7.4 assists on 52 percent shooting. The Lakers are 8-2 in those games and counting on a healthy and rested LeBron to carry them back into the NBA playoff picture.
But just because Los Angeles is expected to get James back for this game doesn’t mean it will cover the Lakers vs. Pacers spread.
The model is also well aware that while this is a back-to-back, Indiana has won six of nine games on zero days rest this season. The Pacers also boast an 18-7 record at home and are beginning to figure out life without Oladipo. They have received big contributions from Darren Collison lately, and they’re going to need him to continue to stand out as the primary playmaker with Oladipo sidelined.
Collison is coming off of a 22-point performance Monday night and has averaged 19.3 points and 7.3 assists over the past three games. His strong play has been infectious, as fourth-year big man Turner has averaged 19 points, seven rebounds and over three combined steals and blocks during that time.