Lakers vs. Pacers Odds, Preview, Prediction: How Injuries Impact Wednesday’s Spread (November 24)

Lakers vs. Pacers Odds, Preview, Prediction: How Injuries Impact Wednesday’s Spread (November 24) article feature image

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: A close up shot of Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Editor's Note:The Los Angeles have ruled out Anthony Davis for Wednesday's game. Caris LeVert will play for the Indiana Pacers. For real-time injury updates, check out our FantasyLabs NBA news page.

Lakers vs. Pacers Odds

Lakers Odds+5.5
Pacers Odds-5.5
Time7 p.m. ET
TVNBA League Pass
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Los Angeles Lakers are fresh off a heartbreaking defeat in New York at the hands of the Knicks, in a game they never led but managed to roar back and draw even late. Luckily, they will get LeBron James back for this game against the Indiana Pacers, though the status of Anthony Davis remains muddy.

Let's get into how to bet this pre-Thanksgiving matchup.

The Lakers Look Lost Without LeBron James

L.A. is simply a different team with LeBron James in the lineup. Sure, it has only covered once in the eight games he's played this season, but this team is just 6-13 against the spread in all games. The Lakers are 5-3 straight-up with James, and they're scoring 11.8 more points per 100 possessions. The sample is small, and the defensive numbers with James have still been atrocious, but the scoring at least makes this team palatable to bet on.

We don't have an injury report for the Lakers as of Wednesday morning, but we do know that Anthony Davis was listed as questionable for Tuesday's game. While he was able to play through his flu-like symptoms, there's always the chance that he's rested on the second night of a back-to-back. It would be a devastating blow, considering the Pacers do so much scoring inside.

The Lakers, in general, have really fallen off on the defensive side of things — our own Matt Moore went into great detail about here. They rank 20th in points allowed per 100 possessions, likely a product of starting Russell Westbrook at point guard and running some grizzled veterans out on the second unit. They also rank second in Pace, meaning any discrepancies between them and their opponents get exposed rather quickly.

The Pacers Need Caris LeVert on Both Ends

The Pacers enter this game with some injury concerns of their own. Caris LeVert is questionable as he continues to deal with a sore back, meaning one of Indiana's biggest contributors on the offensive end could be missing.

In the minutes which the Pacers have had to play without LeVert this year, they're scoring 4.3 fewer points per 100 possessions and giving up 9.6 more per 100 possessions on defense. That is a massive swing, albeit one that has occurred in a small sample size.

It's clear that the loss of LeVert would be a big one, given the return of James on the Lakers side. That combined with Westbrook's athleticism in the open floor would put the defense in a compromising position.

That also means the ball would be in Malcolm Brogdon's hands more often on offense, given he is seeing a 2% Usage bump with LeVert off the floor this year. That's bad news for Indiana considering Brogdon opts for the 3-point shot a good bit, shooting six per game, but he's only knocked down 32.9% in the early going.

There is a lot of unknown here, and it is hard to assess the Pacers without the status of LeVert cleared up. One thing is certain, though, and that is that this team's defense has left a lot to be desired.

They entered play on Monday ranked 13th in the NBA, and have hovered right around the middle of the league all year. LeVert would help, but it's not as if this is an overwhelming attack.

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Lakers-Pacers Pick

The 4.5-point line here would indicate that there's at least some skepticism regarding Davis's status. Assuming AD plays, I think the Lakers are a pretty good call here. The Pacers are an overvalued team, and while L.A. has its flaws (which we discussed) the jury is ultimately still not out on this team with James in the lineup.

Indiana's suspect defense will help Los Angeles greatly here, and Davis should help slow Indiana inside. I'd also keep an eye out for news regarding LeVert, because should he sit I'd take L.A. with or without Davis.

I think this team showed some real promise against New York and it should carry over into a winnable matchup in Indiana.

Pick: Lakers +4.5 with Davis or without LeVert (play to +3)

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