Anthony Davis has already made his return to New Orleans this season back on Nov. 27, but the former first-overall pick will get another crack at his former squad this evening in Los Angeles. The Lakers (27-7) welcome the suddenly upstart Pelicans (11-23) to the Staples Center on Friday, looking to continue a three-game winning streak against Western Conference opponents.
As for New Orleans, the preseason darlings are actually operating at close to 100% health for the first time in 2019-20, with only the heavily publicized injury to Zion Williamson (knee) clogging up its injury report. In a twist of fate that surely no coincidence, the Pelicans have been playing their best basketball of the year as of late, entering tonight’s tilt with five victories in their past six contests and an impressive 9.9-point net rating within that same span.
Lakers vs. Pelicans spread, over/under, money line
Spread: Pelicans (+10.5)
Money Line: Pelicans (+460), Lakers (-625)
I can’t lie, the immediate reaction to seeing a line this lopsided is a strong inclination to take the points with a torrid New Orleans team. Obviously you can’t sweep the first two months of the regular season under the rug entirely, yet the Pelicans always boasted a roster that was vastly underperforming the organization’s meager record, so, in way, their sudden turnaround isn’t all that shocking. New Orleans has also covered its past four games overall and three of its last four matchups as an underdog. Meanwhile, the Lakers have come way back down to Earth after an amazing start to 2019-20. In fact, Los Angeles is an ugly 2-7 ATS in its most recent nine contests and it posted a negative net rating at home in the month of December. Still, if trusting an 11-win team on the road makes you nervous, maybe getting a piece of the under is more you’re style. The Pelicans have slowed their pace noticeably across their past 10 games and both squads are averaging fewer than 110 points per 100 possessions within that identical stretch of time.
Prediction: Lakers 111, Pelicans 105
Anthony Davis prop bets
There are definitely a few different avenues one could take if looking to exploit the revenge narrative this evening. Davis’ points prop is set at 29.5 with the over (+110) paying at plus-money. Considering Davis mustered 41 points with season-highs in both field goal attempts (30) and usage rate (43.4%) the last time these two teams met, it’s not all that far-fetched to believe he gets there. Knowing that the Pelicans surrender a Western Conference-high 19.9 made field goals per contest inside the restricted area doesn’t hurt matter, either. In a similar vein, Davis to be the game’s high-scorer (+100) also looks like a nice wager.
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