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The greatest in-season tournament wager for Lakers vs Pacers is available tonight

Lakers vs Pacers Pick, Prediction Tonight | Best In-Season Tournament Bet

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Here's everything you need to know about the NBA In-Season Tournament final on Saturday with our Lakers vs Packers pick and prediction for tonight's best in-season tournament bet.

The NBA’s In-Season Tournament (IST) has been a thrilling ride in its inaugural year. It has been incredible to watch games that have a playoff feel despite it being so early in the season. 

This game pits the league’s oldest player, LeBron James, against the young and upstart Indiana Pacers, led by budding superstar Tyrese Haliburton. Can James continue to defy Father Time and capture yet another banner for the Lakers to hang in the rafters? Or will Haliburton cement his status as a star on the rise?

Let's get to our Lakers vs. Pacers pick and prediction.

Pick: Lakers -3.5 | Play to -4

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Lakers vs. Pacers Prediction

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Pick: Lakers -3.5 | Play to -4

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The Lakers come into this game relatively healthy, but it’s anticipated that Gabe Vincent (knee) will continue to miss time. The Lakers have been dynamic throughout the tournament and have seemingly kicked things into another gear as they're 6-0 with wins over the Suns (twice), Grizzlies, Blazers, Jazz and Pelicans. Through those six games, the Lakers have a tournament-best +20.2 Net Rating, to go along with the best Defensive Rating in the tournament (102.3), per NBA Advanced Stats.

These are dominant numbers.

The Lakers have admittedly had some shooting variance go their way. They have an eFG% of 54.3% (15th) over the entirety of the season, but in the IST, the Lakers have climbed all the way to 59.2%, which is the third-best rate in the league during the tournament and would be the best mark in the league for the season.

How has that happened? Variance is always a factor, but there has to be something said about the process. The Lakers are assisting on 66.2% of their shots, an uptick on their full-season numbers. Additionally, they are running and scoring 17.7% of their points on the fast break, another uptick from their full season mark (14%), per NBA Advanced Stats.

James also gives the Lakers an advantage as he's been dynamic throughout the tournament, averaging 26.8 ppg. Indiana doesn't have anyone who can defend James when he gets a full head of steam driving toward the basket. Aaron Nesmith played admirably and defended Giannis Antetokounmpo relatively well, but Antetokounmpo still dropped 37 points against the Pacers in the semis. The Pacers foul at one of the highest rates in the league, so this is a bad matchup for them and a great matchup for the King. I like James to go Over 27.5 points and would take that up to 30+.

The Indiana Pacers have been the story of the IST. Haliburton is setting records on a nightly basis and has yet to turn the ball over in the Knockout Stage, despite tallying 53 points, 17 rebounds and an absurd 28 assists in two games. He's been must watch television.

The Pacers may be without Andrew Nembhard, who suffered a tough fall against the Bucks and is dealing with some right knee soreness.

Haliburton is clearly the engine of the league's best offense. The Pacers can outscore anyone and their 123.3 Offensive Rating, per Basketball Reference, is indicative of that. The Pacers have translated that to the In-Season Tournament and defeated some Eastern Conference juggernauts along their path with victories over the Cavaliers, 76ers, Hawks, Pistons, Celtics and Bucks. This is no fluke.

Indiana allows the fewest 3-point attempts in the league, but it's not necessarily because Indiana is doing a great job of limiting opportunities. Instead, the Pacers are getting blown by on the perimeter and their opponents are marching to the rim. This is a nightmare scenario when coupled with the Lakers' ability to draw fouls, especially because the Pacers are a touch undersized.

To combat this, the Pacers may up the variance and take an even greater percentage of their shots from 3-point range. However, that will potentially subject them to massive swings in scoring.

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Lakers vs Pacers Picks, Odds

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Saturday, Dec 9

8:30pm ET


Pacers Odds




-110o / -110u


Lakers Odds




-110o / -110u


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This matchup is a showdown between two generations of basketball talent. It also features contrasting styles as the Lakers attack the rim and draw fouls, while the Pacers employ an all-offense-zero-defense approach. That being said, the Pacers have tightened up on defense a bit in the Knockout Stage and any improvement may be enough to slow the Lakers a bit.

The Lakers should have a slight home-court advantage in Vegas and this will be a tougher environment than the one the Pacers played in against the Bucks with a 2:00 p.m. local tip on a neutral floor.

Ultimately, the Lakers have risen to the challenge throughout this tournament, and if I had to pick one player I wanted to lead my team in a one-game, winner-take-all scenario, I'd be hard pressed to pick someone not named LeBron James. I'll lay the points with the Lakers and hope for an exciting game!

Pick: Lakers -3.5 | Play to -4

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