Los Angeles Lakers vs. Indiana Pacers Game Preview: Pacers a Strong Bet to Continue Lakers Slide

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The Lakers are on the second night of a back-to-back after falling 106-100 to the New York Knicks. Indiana comes in winners of two straight, including a convincing 109-77 win over the Chicago Bulls. This will be the first meeting between the teams this season.

To say Los Angeles has been disappointing thus far would be an understatement, but I don’t think anyone expected their star-studded roster to play this poorly. LeBron James’ squad is a game under .500 and have just one win in their past five – a game in which they had to rally to defeat the rebuilding Detroit Pistons. Granted, the Lakers have been without James for 11 of their 19 contests (4-7 in that span), but they haven’t looked particularly impressive with him either, going 5-3, with two of those victories coming against the lowly Houston Rockets.

Lineup Note: LeBron James will be in the lineup tonight after serving a one-game suspension for his elbow on Pistons forward Isaiah Stewart.

Frank Vogel’s group has been solid offensively, scoring 109.4 points per game (10th), but their defense has been a disaster. LA is 28th in points allowed per game at 113.1 – only the Charlotte Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies give up more. Throw in the fact the Lakers are just 2-5 against the spread on the road, and it’s difficult to justify placing any bets on LA, especially on a back-to-back (0-2 in those games this year).

After losing six of their firsts seven games, Rick Carlisle’s Pacers have played much better basketball of late, going 7-5 since. Monday’s blowout victory over Chicago was their most impressive performance of the season – a sign players are finally starting to feel more comfortable in Carlisle’s system. Indiana may be without Caris Levert tonight (questionable with back soreness), but this is a matchup their core of Malcolm Brogdon, Myles Turner, and Domantas Sabonis can attack. The Lakers are in the bottom 10 of the league in points allowed to point guards, power forwards, and centers. Listed as four-point favorites, Indiana is 5-2 against the spread at home. The Pacers are trending up, and our model loves them tonight as a five-star play.

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