Indiana Pacers vs Los Angeles Lakers (5:30pm)
The Lakers have been focused on securing victory in this tournament since the opening game. They maintain a flawless 6-0 record in In-Season Tournament matchups, contrasting with their less impressive 8-9 standing in regular-season games. Following a dominant performance, defeating the young and talented New Orleans Pelicans by a staggering 44 points in the semi-final, it's evident why they enter Saturday's final as 3.5-4 point favorites.
Nevertheless, considering their 4-2 SU record in the last 6 meetings against Indy and a seven-game winning streak as favorites, they hold a slight advantage. The Lakers boast a 4-1 SU/ATS record in their last 5 outings, emphasizing the critical role of defensive execution in the upcoming final. With LA ranking 7th in defensive efficiency, a significant contrast to the Pacers, who rank as the 3rd worst in the entire NBA, the outcome seems to favor the King and his Lakers.
I truly believe LeBron James wants to write one more chapter to his legacy here, and that he and Anthony Davis were able to play very low minute totals Thursday in the rout of the Pelicans obviously only helps Los Angeles. The Lakers also have the size advantage, and the defenses aren't close. They simply can't get into a track meet with the Pacers and will likely need to slow the tempo down to have full control of this game. Indiana will be without Jalen Smith and Andrew Nembhard and that drastically thins out Rick Carlisle's rotation. Lakers are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games as a favorite of 0.5-4.5 points while the Pacers are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games as a road underdog of 0.5-4.5 points.
Pick: Los Angeles Lakers ML (-180)
🍀Best of luck!