The Lakers struggled offensively and saw their seven-game winning streak halted by Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday in a 105-88 defeat. The No. 2 overall pick went off for 27 points and 14 assists as Los Angeles failed to score more than 25 points in any quarter. After a quick turnaround, the 2019 NBA Draft tour continues Sunday on Bourbon Street against No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson and the Pelicans.
These two teams met earlier this week at the Staples Center with the Lakers winning 118-109 and covering the 7.5-point spread. The total stayed well Under the number of 239.5 points. Expect some weariness from Los Angeles in the second game of a back-to-back as both teams will be hungry to establish a defensive presence early. The first-quarter Under is 7-3 in the last 10 games for New Orleans.
PREDICTION: Under 60.5 First Quarter
The Pelicans are surging and enter 2.5 games back of the Grizzlies for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Anthony Davis scored just 15 points and played only 25 minutes in Memphis on Saturday but is averaging 36 points in three games against his former team this season. The Lakers looked to be lagging against the Grizzlies with James as the only player who saw more than 30 minutes on the floor. Head coach Frank Vogel was likely limiting his rotation and banking some of his team’s energy for Sunday. The Pelicans are just 11-17 ATS in the first half at home this season.
PREDICTION: Lakers First Half Moneyline (-110)
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Williamson continues to do things that no other player his age has ever done. The rookie scored 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting in Friday’s 116-104 win over the Cavs. He 's the first teenager in NBA history to score at least 20 points in 10 straight games. Despite that accomplishment, the oddsmakers continue to increase his point total prop to where there is very little value to back the rookie. On the other hand, Zion's teammate and former Laker Brandon Ingram continues to shoot well and is averaging 31.5 points over his last two games, including a 34-point outburst earlier this week against Los Angeles. Expect Ingram to go off again against his former team.
PREDICTION: Brandon Ingram Over 24.5 Points (-110)
The defense has stepped to the front of the line for the Pelicans during this recent winning stretch as the last three games have sailed Under the total, including the matchup against the Lakers earlier this week. The oddsmakers have not yet adjusted the numbers for New Orleans as six straight totals have been set at 234 or higher. New Orleans could be without its best 3-point shooter J.J. Redick, who left Friday’s win over the Cavs with a hamstring injury and is questionable to suit up Sunday. Considering these teams just played each other five days ago, the Under is a good bet again as familiarity breeds contempt.
PREDICTION: Under 234.5
New Orleans has won three of its last four games since the All-Star break with the only loss coming at the hands of the Lakers. The Pelicans’ resurgence outdates Zion’s return as the team has won 20 of 31 after a dreadful 6-22 start. Lonzo Ball has been one of the main catalysts and is averaging 11.6 points and a team-high 5.3 assists per game this season. The Lakers have had no issues on short rest this season and are 6-1 ATS in the second game of a back-to-back. Los Angeles was clearly not giving max effort against the Grizzlies as they were likely looking ahead to Sunday’s showdown in New Orleans. Take the Lakers at a reasonable price and expect a bounce-back performance.
PREDICTION: Lakers -1.5