The NBA’s first In-Season Tournament will conclude Saturday evening when the Indiana Pacers (12-8) will meet the Los Angeles Lakers (14-9). Tipoff from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas is set for 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC, with the game also airing on ESPN2. Both teams have won their last three contests, and have not been beaten in this tournament. The Pacers defeated the Celtics and Bucks in the knockout stage, while the Lakers took care of the Suns and Pelicans to get to the final.
Andrew Nembhard and Jalen Smith are out for the Pacers. Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Jarred Vanderbilt are all listed as probable for the Lakers.
The Lakers are 4-point favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total set at 243.5. Los Angeles is -185 on the moneyline while Indiana is +154.
Pacers vs. Lakers, 8:30 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Pacers +4
Indiana is one of the best teams against the number this season as an underdog, sporting a 7-3 mark. The Pacers are 12-8 ATS overall, while the Lakers are 11-12 ATS but have covered in their last three and four of their last five. Indiana has covered in its last three games where it was an underdog in all three. The teams split their two meetings a season ago, with the Pacers covering this line both times.
The Tyrese Haliburton factor looms large in this game. The point guard has become a superstar, averaging 26.9 points and 12.1 assists per game on 52/44/88 shooting splits. Haliburton has really stepped up in this In-Season Tournament, dropping a triple-double against the Celtics before going for 27 points and 15 assists against the Bucks. Even with Davis and James at full strength, it’s hard to bet against Haliburton’s form right now. Take the Pacers to cover and potentially win outright.
Over/Under: Under 243.5
This is a matchup of strength vs. strength. The Pacers are the top scoring team in the league at 128.4 points per game, while the Lakers rank 10th in points allowed per game. Los Angeles is 9-14 on overs, but there’s been inconsistency there. The Lakers have gone under their total in each of the last three, but had four straight overs before that and then had five unders prior to that stretch of overs. The Pacers are consistently scoring a lot, sporting a 16-4 mark on overs.
The Lakers are 6-8 on overs in their wins, while the Pacers are 10-2 on overs in their wins. However, the last two games for Indiana both went under and those were the tournament knockout games. The high-stakes of a final might slow down the game just enough for LA’s defense to have more success, which suggests the under is the better play tonight.