The 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament continues with the semifinal round, and the nightcap pits Western Conference opponents against each other in prime time. The New Orleans Pelicans, fresh off a road win over the Sacramento Kings, will face the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers toppled the Phoenix Suns in the quarterfinal, and the winner of this game will face the Indiana Pacers in the NBA In-Season Tournament 2023 final on Saturday. LeBron James (calf) is listed as questionable but is expected to play.

For this game, SportsLine consensus lists the Lakers as 2-point favorites, and tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The over/under for total points is 230 in the latest Pelicans vs. Lakers odds. Before making any Lakers vs. Pelicans picks, you need to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's advanced computer simulation model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters Week 7 of the 2023-24 NBA season on a sizzling 92-50 roll on all top-rated NBA picks dating back to last season, returning nearly $4,000. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Pelicans vs. Lakers and just locked in its picks and NBA predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Lakers vs. Pelicans:

  • Lakers vs. Pelicans spread: Lakers -2
  • Lakers vs. Pelicans over/under: 230 points
  • Lakers vs. Pelicans money line: Lakers -132, Pelicans +111
  • NO: The Pelicans are 13-8-1 against the spread this season
  • LAL: The Lakers are 10-12 against the spread this season
  • Lakers vs. Pelicans picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why the Pelicans can cover

New Orleans was excellent on offense in the team's quarterfinal win over Sacramento. The Pelicans scored 127 points on 54% shooting in that game, including a 45.2% mark from 3-point range. New Orleans generated 29 assists with only 12 turnovers, and the Pelicans have three players averaging at least 20 points per game this season. Brandon Ingram leads the way for New Orleans with 23.7 points per game in 2023-24, and that includes a 30-point, eight-rebound, six-assist showing against the Kings. 

The Pelicans are firmly in the top 10 of the NBA in free throw creation, field goal percentage, and fast break points, with New Orleans also bringing encouraging defensive metrics. Opponents are shooting only 33.4% from 3-point range against New Orleans, and the Pelicans are forcing 14.7 turnovers per game. New Orleans is also in a favorable spot against Los Angeles, with the Lakers scoring fewer than 1.11 points per possession. See which team to pick here.

Why the Lakers can cover

Los Angeles is star by the superstar pairing of James and Anthony Davis. James is one of the greatest players in league history, earning All-NBA honors in 19 seasons, and he continues to operate at an elite level. James had 31 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds in the quarterfinal win over Phoenix, and he is averaging 24.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game. Davis anchors the L.A. defense, and he is coming off a 27-point, 15-rebound effort against the Suns. Davis is No. 2 in the NBA in rebounds (12.6 per game) and No. 1 in blocked shots (2.8 per game) while averaging 23.0 points per game.

The Lakers have a strong defense, giving up only 1.11 points per possession, and Los Angeles leads the league in free throw prevention, allowing only 18.5 attempts per game. On offense, the Lakers rank in the top five of the league in free throw creation (25.6 attempts per game), and Los Angeles is in the top quartile of the league in field goal percentage, 2-point percentage, fast break points, and points in the paint. See which team to pick here.

How to make Pelicans vs. Lakers picks

SportsLine's model is leaning Under on the point total, projecting 223 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 50% of simulations. You can only see the model's pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Pelicans vs. Lakers, and which side of the spread hits in over 50% of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Pelicans vs. Lakers spread you need to jump on Thursday, all from the model that is on an 92-50 roll on top-rated NBA picks, and find out.