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New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Lakers Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under – NBA In-Season Tournament Semifinal Betting Lines 12/7

Moneyline: New Orleans Pelicans +110, Los Angeles Lakers -130 
Spread: Pelicans +2.5 (-115), Lakers-2.5 (-105) 
Total: Over/Under 230.5 points  

NBA Schedule Today, Thursday / Dec. 7, 2023 – Game info - Pelicans at Lakers2023-24 NBA In-Season Tournament Semifinal 
New Orleans Pelicans (12-10, 0-0 Neutral) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (13-9, 0-0 Neutral) 
Date: Thursday, Dec. 7 
Time: 9 p.m ET 
Venue: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. 
TV Channels: TNT, truTV 
Live Stream: TNT App 
Live Radio: KANE 107.5 FM (Pelicans) KSPN 710 (Lakers)

The first NBA In-Season Tournament semifinals are set, and the final four teams are in Las Vegas looking to make history as the winners of the inaugural NBA Cup. It’s going to be must-see television from here on out, as fans get a chance watch the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks square off in the first semifinal, which will be followed by a showdown between the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers. With the remaining games taking place at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, the neutral site location will offer a true tournament feel. Let’s now take a closer look at the second seminal between the Pelicans and Lakers.

Pelicans vs. Lakers Injury Report

The New Orleans Pelicans are expected to be without Larry Nance Jr. and Matt Ryan, who are both nursing injuries. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers will be missing Gabe Vincent, who is dealing with an elbow injury. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Jarred Vanderbilt are listed as game-time decisions for Thursday night, but all are all expected to play.

Pelicans vs. Lakers Prediction and Picks 

The inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament has been a success. While the unique basketball-court designs in each NBA city certainly helped to create a real tournament feel, there was no denying that the tournament games had a playoff atmosphere. The Lakers have certainly been great in the tournament. In the earlier group-play portion of the event, Los Angeles was one of the league’s highest scoring teams. LeBron James has played as if he were still in a Cleveland Cavaliers jersey, and the rest of the Lakers have played as if every tournament game were Game 7 of a playoff series. That competitive edge is a big reason why Los Angeles is in the final four. The Lakers’ Thursday night opponent, the New Orleans Pelicans, has been riddled with injuries this season, so making it all the way to the semifinals is an impressive feat in itself. However, the Pelicans’ run will end on Thursday night, because this Lakers team has approached the In-Season Tournament precisely the way NBA commissioner Adam Silver hoped – treating it just like the NBA  playoffs. Los Angeles is hungry for another NBA championship several months from now, and winning the first NBA In-Season Tournament would be a nice appetizer.

The Pick: Los Angeles Lakers ML (-125)

As mentioned earlier, the Lakers have been one of the highest-scoring teams in the NBA In-Season Tournament. While they slowed down a bit in their quarterfinal win on Tuesday night – particularly in the second half – they will bring the pace back up for this game.

This is a semifinal matchup on a neutral-site court under the lights in Las Vegas, so an over/under total in the 230s seems a bit high to me, because I expect all four quarters to be played as if they were part of the NBA Finals. It will also be tough to justify the under here, since both teams have averaged at least 118 points per game during the tournament (New Orleans is right at 118, while the Lakers are at 120).

However, looking at the bigger picture of these teams’ scoring in the 2023-24 season, we see that they have both actually had some struggles when it comes to consistently putting up big totals. Forward Jarred Vanderbilt, one of the better defenders in the NBA against guards and forwards, is back for the Lakers, which provides them with a huge boost defensively. On the Pelicans’ side, center Jonas Valanciunas has always provided good rim protection and will make the Lakers fight for interior points. We also all know about LeBron James’ and Anthony Davis’ defensive skills, which will certainly be on display Thursday night.

Since this game will be played on a neutral court following an earlier semifinal between the Bucks and Pacers, give me the under here. This total will certainly be close, and there might be moments and stretches where it looks in jeopardy of going over. Nevertheless, by the time the second half – and particularly the fourth quarter – are under way, I expect to see this game really slow down.

The Pick: Under 230.5 (-105)

Best NBA Player-Prop Bets Today for Pelicans vs Lakers In-Season Tournament Semi-Final Brandon Ingram
Nearly five years have passed since the Lakers traded forward Brandon Ingram to the New Orleans Pelicans in the multi-player deal that brought Anthony Davis to Los Angeles. Despite all that time, it is still always personal for Ingram whenever he faces the Lakers. This franchise drafted him and then essentially sent him away in the belief that they could win a championship without him. Of course, they did go on to win the title in that first year with Davis –- a memory which will never sit well with Ingram. He has since faced the Lakers several times and always made sure to give them his best shot. In games against his former L.A. team, Ingram has averaged 25.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists. The Pelicans now have both Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum at full strength, but their offense still looks to Ingram to lead the way. Since this is a semifinal game and a win-or-go-home scenario, expect to see a lot of Ingram, which will result in a lot of points for the young star.

The Pick: Brandon Ingram over 23.5 points (-120)
Anthony Davis The Los Angeles Lakers will be relying on their big man -– just as they do every night -- to help get them into Saturday night’s NBA Cup championship game in Las Vegas. Although Davis has had a slightly up-and-down season offensively, he has remained a menace on the boards -- averaging 12.6 rebounds per game. Indeed, he has grabbed at least 10 rebounds in all but three games this season. Although New Orleans has one of the NBA’s taller teams, the Pelicans have struggled to rebound the ball. They have ranked only 12th in that category during the In-Season Tournament games and 14th in all regular-season games. The Lakers, on the other hand, have ranked third in rebounding for In-Season Tournament games, and that has a lot to do with Davis. Los Angeles needs the big man’s scoring prowess to reach the NBA Cup final, but the Lakers also need his rebounding.

The Pick: Anthony Davis over 12.5 rebounds (-134)
Best Same-Game Parlay Thursday bets today for Pelicans vs. Lakers: 3-Leg Parlay Pick (+950) Brandon Ingram
Whenever he faces the Los Angeles Lakers, the light just shines brighter for the Pelicans’ Brandon Ingram. Having been traded away from his former team, it still feels personal for him every time he faces the Lakers. Ingram is certainly the Pelicans’ most fluent scorer, and they will need to rely on him on Thursday night if they want to pull off an upset. He had 30 points in New Orleans’ 127-117 quarterfinal win over the Sacramento Kings on Monday, and his team will need him to produce in similar fashion to emerge victorious on Thursday night.

Leg-1 SGP Pick: Brandon Ingram 30+ Points (+290)
D’Angelo Russell
As far as scoring goes, D’Angelo Russell has been a streaky player for the Lakers this season. When he’s hot, he’ll continue to take shots and get the ball from teammates. When his scoring is off, Russell becomes more of a facilitator, and the offense rolls through LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Getting Russell going early is not only important for his confidence but great for the Lakers as well. When Russell is scoring, the Lakers usually cruise to victory. Look for him to establish his shot early. If he knocks down one or two early 3-pointers, then he could be in for a big scoring night.

Leg-2 SGP Pick: D'Angelo Russell 12+ Points (-195)
Taurean Prince
Taurean Prince has been a great asset for the Lakers this season, because his scoring, 3-point shooting, and defense have provided a big spark for his team. We’ll target Prince’s 3-pointers on Thursday night, because he has registered at least two of them in four of his last five games. He was quiet in Tuesday night’s 106-103 quarterfinal win over the Phoenix Suns, but I expect a locked-in Prince on Thursday with a tournament championship game appearance on the line.

Leg-3 SGP Pick: Taurean Prince over 1.5 three pointers (+105)

Odds are subject to change* 

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