Game Information:

Date: Thursday, December 7, 2023
Time: 9:00 PM ET
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Television: TNT, truTV
Betting Odds:

Spread: Lakers -2.5
Over/Under: 231
Top 5 Successful NBA Betting Models:

ESPN Basketball Power Index (BPI): Lakers 56%
FiveThirtyEight CARMELO Rating: Lakers 59%
Basketball Reference’s Simple Rating System (SRS): Lakers 0.86
HOOPSPRO Report: Lakers 115.2 – 111.7
VSiN’s Prediction: Lakers -2
BetQL and Sportsline Models:

BetQL: Lakers -3
Sportsline: Lakers -2.5
Average Final Score Prediction:

Based on the top 5 successful NBA betting models, the average final score prediction is:

Lakers: 114.4
Pelicans: 111.3

Pythagorean Theorem Plus Strength of Schedule:

Using the Pythagorean theorem, the expected final score is:

Lakers: 116.7
Pelicans: 113.8

However, when factoring in strength of schedule, the predicted score becomes:

Lakers: 115.7
Pelicans: 113.2

Key Player Injuries:

Larry Nance Jr. (out)
Matt Ryan (out)

LeBron James (questionable)
Anthony Davis (questionable)
Jarred Vanderbilt (questionable)
Gabe Vincent (out)


The Lakers are 10-12 against the spread this season.
The Pelicans are 13-9 against the spread this season.
The Lakers are 4-4 against the spread at home this season.
The Pelicans are 6-5 against the spread on the road this season.

While the Lakers have the slight edge in most statistical models and the Pythagorean theorem, the key player injuries make this game a toss-up. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Jarred Vanderbilt are all questionable for the Lakers, which could significantly impact their performance. On the other hand, the Pelicans are missing Larry Nance Jr. and Matt Ryan, but their overall depth might be better suited to compensate for these absences.

Final Score Prediction:

Based on the current information, it’s difficult to predict a clear winner. However, here are two possible scenarios:

Scenario 1: Lakers with healthy stars:

Lakers: 117
Pelicans: 112

Scenario 2: Lakers with injured stars:

Lakers: 110
Pelicans: 114

Considering the uncertainty around the Lakers’ lineup, the safest pick might be the over (231 points). Both teams have potent offenses and the absence of key players on both sides could lead to a faster pace and more scoring opportunities.

Combined Pick:

Taking an average of the models’ picks and our pick, the final combined pick for the game is:

Lakers: 115.8
Pelicans: 112.5

This suggests a close game with the Lakers slightly favored. However, it’s important to remember that this is just a prediction and anything can happen on the court, especially with the uncertainty surrounding the Lakers’ injuries. Be sure to monitor the latest injury updates and adjust your bets accordingly.

Pick: Take the Lakers -2 points tonight. (WINNER)