New Orleans vs. LA Lakers, 01/03/2020 22:30 EDT, Score: 113 - 123

Point Spread: -10½/-102 LA Lakers

Sportsbook: PinnacleSports

Result: Loss

8* LA Lakers (10:35 ET): When I woke up Thursday morning, I was stunned to see that the Lakers did not cover the spread vs. Phoenix. They jumped out to a 43-17 lead by the end of the 1st quarter (shot 70% from the field!) and would go up by as many as 36. But with that kind of lead, they predictably took their foot off the gas and things ended up dangerously close (lead cut to 7 pts in 4Q) before the starters had to be called back into duty. The final score was 117-107, which LA will take, but those who laid the 11 points were obviously left very disappointed.

Look for the Lakers to put together a far more complete performance tonight on ESPN vs. the Pelicans. The win over Phoenix did improve the Lakers to a perfect 18-0 SU this season vs. teams below .500. The remainder of this homestand (Pelicans, Pistons, Knicks) looks rather favorable and should allow them to preserve, if not improve, their current lead over the rest of the Western Conference.

New Orleans has yet to play a game in 2020 as they've been off for four days. But that break may have come at the wrong time as they were on a 4-0 SU/ATS run. Before this win streak, December had been really ugly for the Pelicans as they'd dropped 10 of 11. They are a really bad defensive team, not a good sign when going up against LeBron James and company. Expect Anthony David to give an inspired effort against his former team. 8* LA Lakers

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