Pacers vs Lakers Picks and Predictions: Market Continues to Disrespect Indiana

The Lakers may be playing a bit better of late but that success has exclusively come against losing teams, meaning their status as 4.5-point favorites against the underrated Pacers is hardly based in reality. Read more in our NBA betting picks below.

Last Updated: Nov 28, 2022 8:36 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Tyrese Haliburton Indiana Pacers NBA
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The Indiana Pacers will be hoping to rebound from a disappointing performance against the Los Angeles Clippers last night as they face off with their elder brother at Arena, the Los Angeles Lakers. 

The Lakers are playing better of late, but are showing signs of attrition as well, and it’s unclear if LeBron James and Anthony Davis will both be ready to go Monday night. 

Our NBA picks and predictions for Pacers vs. Lakers think there’s real value to betting Indiana to win outright despite its rest disadvantage tonight.

Pacers vs Lakers best odds

Pacers vs Lakers picks and predictions

The Pacers and the Lakers are teams on the opposite ends of the spectrum in so many ways, in terms of youth, style of play, pace, and many more besides. But perhaps the biggest gap is between their relative quality and the amount of attention they receive from national audiences, and by extension... bettors and betting markets. 

The irony is that if you actually watch the two teams play basketball, the Pacers — who run the ball down their opponent’s throats on every possession and consistently create good shots early in the clock — are a delight to watch.

Watching the Lakers on the other hand feels a bit like an obligation, they’re plodding and even in victory can hardly be called exciting to watch. You’re watching because three players of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook’s caliber should be better than this (even if you long ago stopped believing this is true).

While the NBA world has obsessed over the surprise success of the Utah Jazz, it’s the Indiana Pacers who are 11-8, good enough for the fourth seed in the West, while the Jazz have dropped four straight. Indiana, meanwhile, is 7-3 in their last 10 games and showing no real signs of slowing down.

The Pacers are at a rest disadvantage and they’re on the road. That and the general lack of appreciation for how well they’ve played this season is why you’re getting this moneyline price at +165.

But they didn’t have to travel, and they’re young. The average age of the Lakers is 27.3 while the Pacers are a hair under 25, and that undersells the gap between the key talent on both teams respectively. The Pacers are playing a back-to-back, but I don’t expect L.A. to have a meaningful energy advantage.

In fact, I’d expect the Lakers to struggle with the relentlessness of the Pacers' attack. Indiana is second in transition frequency and third in points per possession on those plays, per Cleaning the Glass. The Lakers have arguably played the worst transition defense of any team this season, ranking dead last in transition points allowed per play and sixth highest in opponent frequency.

The Pacers are flatly a better team than the Lakers in many respects, without even accounting for the significant possibility that Anthony Davis does not play on Monday. Davis has been by far the Lakers' best player this season and is their team leader in plus/minus by a mile. 

LeBron, who in every season prior has been the driver of his team’s success, has actually shown out as a negative overall, and a significant one at that.

If AD doesn’t play, the Pacers should be clear favorites to win outright. Even if he does, this game is a tossup on its merits, which makes the moneyline a strong value bet.

My best bet: Pacers moneyline (+165 at bet365)

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Pacers vs Lakers spread analysis

Given my feelings on the moneyline, it’s pretty obvious how I’m feeling about L.A.’s chances to cover as 4.5-point favorites for Monday’s game, but here are some additional numbers to consider. 

The Lakers are putrid 7-11 against the spread this season while the Pacers are 12-6. The Lakers’ improved play has still only seen them go 5-5 in their last 10 games, while Indiana is 7-3. The Lakers have shown a lot of improvement recently, but again, that has almost exclusively been the province of Anthony Davis returning to superstar form. With him listed as questionable, I cannot see the justification for taking the Lakers at this number.

Additional trends further justify this thinking. Despite the outside perception of their intention to tank this season, the Pacers are exhibiting the No. 1 trait of a quality team — they’re beating the teams they ought to convincingly. To that end, the Pacers are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games vs. teams with a losing record. They’re also 11-3 ATS in their last 13 games overall.

The Lakers have been better against the spread of late, but that’s all come against losing teams. They’re still 0-5 ATS in their last five against winning teams. For now — and likely for as long as the Pacers' front office decides — Indiana is a winning team.

Pacers vs Lakers Over/Under analysis

The Lakers' defense has been up and down this season, at first, starting strong then nearly flatlining before returning to form. They’re playing at the level of a Top-5 defense over the last two weeks, but now might be without both Patrick Beverley and Anthony Davis. Their defense simply doesn’t have ready replacements for either player and should allow the Pacers to get the blender going on offense early.

If they can sustain that on the second night of a back-to-back will probably determine if this goes Over. Tired legs can break one of two ways, it can slow down the pace and the offense can suffer, or fatigue can lead to mental lapses and a surplus of defensive breakdowns that juice the offense. For the Pacers so far, the latter has been largely the case. The Over is 4-0 in Pacers' last four games playing on zero days rest. 

If I knew AD was playing, I’d like the Under here, but this is a well-set total at 235. Ultimately, it’s a stay-away number for me because of the uncertainty around both LeBron and AD. 

Pacers vs Lakers betting trend to know

The Pacers are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games vs. teams with a losing record. Find more NBA betting trends for Pacers vs. Lakers.

Pacers vs Lakers game info

Location: Arena, Los Angeles, CA
Date: Monday, November 28, 2022
Tip-off: 10:30 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Indiana, SportsNet LA

Pacers vs Lakers key injuries

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