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Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under – 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament Final Betting Lines 12/9

Moneyline: Indiana Pacers +150, Los Angeles Lakers -180 
Spread: Pacers +3.5 (-100), Lakers-3.5 (-120) 
Total: Over/Under 240.5 points  

NBA Schedule Today, Friday / Dec. 9, 2023 – Game info - Pacers at Lakers2023-24 NBA In-Season Tournament Final 
Indiana Pacers (12-8, 6-0) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (14-9, 6-0) 
Date: Saturday, Dec. 9 
Time: 8:40 p.m ET 
Venue: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. 
TV Channels: ABC/ESPN2
Live Stream: ESPN+
Live Radio: 93.5, 107.5 FM in Indianapolis

Here is one rhetorical question to consider while pondering what will happen in the finale of the NBA Cup, a.k.a. the In-Season Tournament, when the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers compete for the $500,000-per-player prize that goes to members of the winning team.

Who needs the money more?

Pacers vs. Lakers Prediction and Best Bets

In the NBA, everyone is very well-paid. But the players on the end of the bench and the players with less service time in the league are always hungry when there is a big chunk of cash on the line.

Memo to commissioner Adam Silver: Since you are in Las Vegas, why not stack the cash on the scorer’s table the same way they do at the final table at the World Series of Poker? It would make for a striking visual, although someone would probably find it offensive.

It’s an idea worth considering while we ponder the question of whether Tyrese Haliburton scoring 27 points with 15 assists or LeBron James going for 30 points in 23 minutes before exiting the game midway through the third quarter was the more impressive achievement in the semifinal round.

Maybe it is a tie, but James also had eight assists with zero turnovers in the Lakers’ win over New Orleans, and the guy is about to turn 39 years old and still plays as athletically as he did 21 seasons ago.

“Extraordinary. Otherworldly,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said of James. “He is the ultimate tone-setter.”

The tournament semifinal games on Thursday featured one very close matchup and one blowout. Many of those watching on national television were getting their first look at the Pacers, the NBA’s highest scoring team, and ESPN did a fantastic job of illustrating with graphics how quickly they were pushing the ball upcourt -- often getting it across halfcourt in under two seconds. Is Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle the new Mike D’Antoni?

The over/under for Thursday’s Pacers-Bucks game was 257 -- the highest in NBA history -- and the line for Saturday night’s championship game is 240½ with the Lakers originally being installed as 3½-point favorites, although that number has already moved to 4½ points.

In handicapping this one, we already know what we are going to get from Haliburton and James. So those guys are not the keys to this game from a wagering standpoint, especially when looking at player props. This one needs to be broken down from a matchup standpoint, and the prediction here is that two members of the Pacers are going to be disruptive.

The first disruptor will be Myles Turner, because he is such a threat from 3-point range that he will take Lakers forward Anthony Davis away from the basket -- opening up the lane for Indiana’s other players and reducing Davis’ rebound total. The other disruptor will be T.J. McConnell, the “Pacers Pest” whose hustle should be emulated by every boy and girl learning to play the game of basketball.

Those are game-planning predictions that can be used as you plan your wagers. The guidance here is to stay away from anything involving Davis. Turner’s proficiency from 3-point range (he is a career 35.1 percent shooter) will have the same effect that defending Nikola Jokic at the 3-point line had on the Lakers in last year’s Western Conference Finals, when Los Angeles was swept by Denver. Davis will have to play on the perimeter defensively, and that will open up the middle for the NBA’s highest-scoring team.

So, that is where we will begin in suggesting a same-game parlay for Saturday night.

NBA In-Season Tournament Final Over/Under Picks Today for Pacers vs. Lakers 

Leg 1: Over 240½ points (-110)

The Pacers have combined with their opponents to score 241 or more points 16 times in 20 games, which is 80 percent of the time. An 80 percent history is pretty darn strong, and even though the under is the only play in sports gambling that is a winner in every game until it is not a winner, we feel that the pace of this one will be dictated by Indiana no matter what Los Angeles coach Darvin Ham does to try to slow it down. As we learned from Mike D’Antoni’s “Seven Seconds or Less” Phoenix Suns teams, the pace of the game will be dictated by the players who want to push it, although that will not necessarily translate into a championship.

We are going to see this from the get-go, which is why we are going with what you will read in Leg 2.

Leg 2: First quarter over 59½ points (-105) 

In Thursday’s Bucks-Pacers semifinal game, the score at the end of the first quarter was 29-27 for a total of 56. The second-quarter total was 58, the third-quarter total was 71, and the fourth-quarter total was 62. So, three quarters of the quarter-by-quarter over/unders hit, and that was just the fourth Pacers game all season in which the overall under hit.

If we consider that first quarter to be aberrational, which we are going to do, then we can build this parlay based upon the simple premise that Indiana will dictate the pace, and the game will be a high-scoring track meet.

Leg 3 SGP: Second quarter over 58½ points (-120)

See Leg 2.

Leg 4 SGP: Third quarter over 62½ points (+100)

See legs 2 and 3.

Leg 5 SGP: Fourth quarter over 58½ points (-110)

See legs 2, 3 and 4.

Putting those five picks together produces a line of +1153, meaning a $10 wager would return $125.28. Plus, you get to watch a high-scoring slugfest with a bunch of money on the line. Sometimes you follow the KISS Rule: Keep it simple, stupid. Let’s hope that works for the first NBA Cup championship game.

Odds are subject to change* 

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