Lakers vs. Pacers NBA Picks: Can Indiana Contain Anthony Davis?

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Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers. Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images/AFP

The Lakers play in Indiana tonight. Here is a betting pick with analysis. Top sportsbooks have released their NBA odds for tonight’s game between the Lakers and Pacers. After a difficult fourth quarter, the Lakers could not beat the Knicks.
They’ll hope to get back to .500 by beating a Pacer team that has a worse record but is playing strong basketball at the moment. For reasons that I will explain, you should play the spread for this game.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Indiana Pacers

Wednesday, November 24, 2021- 7:00 PM EST at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Bad Spot for L.A. 

The Lakers enter tonight's game on the second leg of a back-to-back. They have experienced two back-to-backs so far this season. First, they inched past San Antonio and then lost by eight against the lowly Thunder. Most recently, Los Angeles beat San Antonio and then lost at home by 18 to the Bulls.

The Lakers evidently struggle on the second leg of a back-to-back. Rest assured for your sports betting that Indiana has, as a result, a particularly strong advantage tonight with its one extra day of rest.

One-Dimensional Laker Offense 

The Lakers' shooting ability is strongly venue-dependent. In their own arena, they have been shooting well. Away from home, though, it is a different story. They are converting 30.8-percent of their three-point opportunities in road games. If this percentage were a season-long statistic, then they would own the third-worst three-point percentage.

Their poor shooting away from home limits the versatility of their offense. Los Angeles is already strongly inclined to shoot in one specific area of the court. Only two more teams average more field goal attempts per game within five feet of the basket than the Lakers do.

For shooting at the basket, they rely of course on star Anthony Davis as well as on LeBron. Russell Westbrook is also someone who characteristically likes to drive to the basket. Conversely, he has always been known for his inefficiency from longer ranges.

Pacer Rim Protection 

L.A.'s partly necessity-induced reliance on scoring at the basket will be problematic against a Pacer defense that is one of the NBA's best at protecting the rim. The Pacers rank fourth in limiting opposing field goal efficiency within five feet of the basket. Their opponents convert 58.3-percent of their field-goal attempts from this distance.

Indiana is spearheaded in its rim-protecting endeavor by center Myles Turner. As measured by blocks per game, Turner made great strides last year. He continues to be a superb shot-blocker, who is averaging over three blocks per game, which easily leads the league.

Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers. Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP

As his recent altercation with Utah's Rudy Gobert shows, Turner is self-confident and will get under opposing scorers' skin. 
Turner's length, timing, and positioning contribute more significantly to his defensive prowess. His strong rim protection helps explain why his defensive rating is as solid as it is (100.5).  Other Pacer big men, like Domantas Sabonis, also have strong defensive ratings and contribute to the team's defensive reliability in front of the basket and elsewhere.

Pacer Offense 

Know for your best bets that, as measured by offensive rating, the Pacers have improved scoring-wise during their ongoing two-game cover streak. With wins and covers against the Bulls and Pelicans, Indiana is showing that some key decisions from well-reputed offensive mastermind and head coach Rick Carlisle are paying off.

One change that coach Carlisle decided upon is to call fewer plays, which allows for a more free-flowing offense where he trusts his potential scorers to make decisions on the court based on what they see in front of them. Evidently, they are rewarding his trust by figuring out the best ways to score.

Secondly, Justin Holiday is back in the starting lineup. He is a productive scorer who reliably approaches 20 points per game. Moreover, he brings a reliable jump shot. His efficient three-point shooting tonight will help the Pacers improve upon their already solid 37.6-percent three-point percentage in home games, which would rank first if it were a season-long statistic.

This three-point effectivity will allow Indiana to punish a Laker perimeter defense that ranks in the bottom half in terms of limiting opposing open and wide-open three-point attempts.

The Verdict 

Playing the second leg of a back-to-back, the Lakers are in a bad spot tonight. Plus, they match up poorly against Indiana given the latter's strong rim protection, improved offense, and superior three-point shooting. For the above reasons, invest in the Pacers with your NBA picks.

NBA Pick: Pacers -2 (-108) with Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Pacers -2 (-108)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.