The Indiana Packers (10-4) finish off their three-game West coast swing with a Sunday evening tip with the Los Angeles Lakers (10-7) inside Staples Center.
Indiana Pacers at Los Angeles Lakers
Indiana has won four of its past five games and comes off a 94-91 win over the Golden State Warriors as one-point road favorites on Friday. The Pacers have alternated covering the spread over their past seven games. Offensively, the team is one of the league’s best three-point shooting teams in the league, hitting 38.2 percent of its shots from beyond the arc. Keeping that in mind, the franchise has dropped 14 consecutive meetings on the road against Sunday’s opponent. Indiana is 8-7 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to 6 points the last two-plus years.
The Pacers are 5-33 all-time on the road against the Lakers, while capturing just 20 victories in 75 overall games in the series. Indiana has matched its best overall start since the 2004-05 season, while tallying a solid 5-4 mark away from home. Fast-break points has been a strength of this squad the past three games, averaging 18.7 points in transition over that span. That’s a vast improvement from the team scoring just 9.3 such points in the first 11 games.
Los Angeles was swept in its Sunshine State road trip against the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic, as the offense was able to score just 167 combined points. The Lakers have dropped five consecutive games versus the number and gone ‘under’ the total in the last three contests. Offensively, the team seems to be struggling to get quality shots in first-year head coach Mike Brown’s system, shooting a season-low 38.2 percent in two of the last three games. Los Angeles is 12-28 ATS over the last two-plus years after going under the total in three consecutive games.
The Lakers are led offensively by the play of star guard Kobe Bryant, who leads the NBA in scoring 30.4 points per game. He has also chipped in by averaging 5.5 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game. Los Angeles desperately needs starting point guard Derek Fisher to find his shot, hitting just 24.1 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. Center Andrew Bynum was unable to outperform Orlando star Dwight Howard in their matchup, scoring 10 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, while “Superman” finished the night with 21 points and 23 boards.
Bettors will likely back the Pacers due to the road team covering four of the last five meetings, while the Lakers are 2-6 ATS on Sundays.
Recommendation: Indiana Pacers +6
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