Two teams currently set to participate in the play-in tournament in their respective conferences will take part in a matinee on Saturday, with the L.A. Lakers traveling to face the Indiana Pacers.
L.A. still has hopes of reaching the sixth seed in the Western Conference and avoiding the play-in completely, while Indiana look likely to see their season end in the East's play-in.
Here are our best free NBA betting picks and predictions for Lakers vs. Pacers on May 15 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Lakers vs Pacers game info
• Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
• Date: Saturday, May 15, 2021
• Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
• TV: BSIN, SportsNet LA
Lakers vs Pacers odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Compare NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.
NBA Sharp Money and Line Movement ReportBy Patrick Everson
Los Angeles landed on FanDuel's odds board as a 6.5-point favorite Friday evening and overnight moved to -7, where the line remains at 11:30 a.m. ET today. The Lakers are drawing 54 percent of spread bets and 67 percent of spread money. The total moved from 226.5 to 225 to 226, with 54 percent of bets/63 percent of cash on the Over.Check out the full line movement for this game
Lakers at Pacers betting preview
Lakers: Anthony Davis PF (Probable), Dennis Schroder PG (Probable), Alex Caruso SG (Questionable), LeBron James SF (Questionable), Jared Dudley SF (Out).
Pacers: T.J. McConnell PG (Questionable), Domantas Sabonis PF (Questionable), Aaron Holiday PG (Questionable), Edmond Sumner PG (Questionable), Caris LeVert SG (Questionable), Malcolm Brogdon SG (Out), Jeremy Lamb SG (Out), Myles Turner C (Out), T.J. Warren SF (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Under is 4-1-1 in the Lakers' last six games playing on two days rest. Find more NBA betting trends for Lakers vs. Pacers.
Against the spread (ATS) pick
Despite LeBron James' continued absence, as well as the continued need to manage Anthony Davis's return, the Lakers have reeled off three straight to give themselves a chance at the shortest path out of the play-in, or to avoid it entirely. While Davis sat out in L.A.'s win over the Rockets with a sore groin, he featured prominently in a huge win over the Suns and an overtime slugfest vs. the Knicks, topping 40 minutes in both.
Though Davis is currently questionable for Saturday's game in Indiana and could be joined by James in his own return, it's likelier the Lakers' big suits up, given L.A.'s critical situation. Davis may be a true three-level scorer, but his flawless footwork, wingspan, and touch make him an elite finisher at the rim. Davis ranks eighth in the NBA in field goal percentage within five feet (among players with five attempts or more per game), and that's despite spacing that is still below the modern basketball standard.
In that sense, L.A. couldn't ask for a better matchup in its penultimate game of the regular season. The Pacers allow the most points in the paint per game in the NBA, at 54.0, and are coming off a beatdown at the hands of the Bucks, in which they allowed 78 points in the paint. Indiana has been missing an elite rim protector in Myles Turner, and it has shown no signs of life without him at the cup.
L.A. is healthier, in better form and fighting for playoff seeding, while Indiana looks desperate for the offseason. Whether LeBron returns for the Lakers or not, the defending champions should cruise in this one.
PREDICTION: Lakers -6.5 (-110)
The Lakers and Pacers have contrasting O/U records on the season, with L.A. 27-42-1 and Indiana 42-27-1. The Lakers' defense has remained stingy despite the health of their two superstars, but their offense has struggled mightily, both due to James and Davis's injury woes and a supporting cast that drops off considerably without James' playmaking.
The Pacers have absolutely cratered on defense without Turner, but despite consistent injuries around Domantis Sabonis, they have remained a respectable 16th in offensive rating. The smooth-playing big is second to just MVP-to-be Nikola Jokic in touches per game in the entire NBA, as he is at the heart of the Pacers' offense.
Indiana may not be able to go to Sabonis on Saturday night, after he left its last game with a quad injury. With an already lengthy injury list, the Pacers would be absolutely lifeless without Sabonis, who leads the team in VoRP, offensive win shares and defensive win shares.
Like LeBron's potential return, Sabonis' status may not make a difference either way. In a game that will be dictated by the Lakers, expect these two to finish below the total in a slowed-down, defense-centric game.
PREDICTION: Under 226.5 (-110)
Player prop pick
Stay tuned for an additional prop pick when markets are live!
Lakers vs Pacers betting card
- Lakers -6.5 (-110)
- Under 226.5 (-110)
Picks made on 5/14/2021 at 8:05 p.m. ET
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