Lakers at Raptors
March 14, 2019
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by Kyle Markus
NBA Game Preview - Los Angeles Lakers at Toronto Raptors
The Los Angeles Lakers finally won a game last time out, but it hasn’t changed the bleak outlook on the rest of the season. The team is not going to the playoffs despite the offseason addition of LeBron James, and will be simply playing out the string the rest of the way. The Lakers will be substantial underdogs next time out when they hit the road to face off against the Toronto Raptors.
This game has much more importance to Toronto, as it still has an outside chance of catching the Bucks for the top seed in the Eastern Conference and the best record in the NBA. The Raptors likely won’t have much trouble winning this game but they may need to do so by double digits in order to cover the spread in NBA betting lines.
This NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors will be held at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 14th, 2019. The game will be nationally televised on TNT.
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The Lakers have a record of 31-36 overall. They beat the Bulls last time out to snap a five-game losing streak but still have basically no chance at making the postseason. Los Angeles has gone 13-20 on the road this year and has one of the poorer defenses in the league, which is why a win over the Raptors would be a stunner.
Toronto is 48-20 on the season and currently sits three games behind the Bucks for the top seed in the East. It would take a great finish and a Milwaukee stumble to catch them, but the Raptors will give it a shot. They are 27-7 at home on the year and hope to cruise to the victory in NBA odds.
The Raptors are pretty healthy, but they will be without standout center Serge Ibaka for this game because he has been suspended for three games after a recent fight with Cavs forward Marquese Chriss. Ibaka went after Chris after they got tangled up, grabbing him by the neck and throwing multiple punches. Ibaka is averaging 15.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest on the year.
The Lakers aren’t dealing with any suspensions but they are short-handed due to injury. Point guard Lonzo Ball and forward Brandon Ingram are both done for the season, robbing Los Angeles of two of its most talented players.
13. That’s the number of consecutive postseasons LeBron James has reached in his career, but it’s a streak that is set to come to an end. James has also made it to eight straight NBA Finals as he has been a fixture in the playoffs for almost his entire career.
Even though the Lakers were underdogs to make the finals this season because they are in the same conference as the Warriors, no one expected them to miss the playoffs completely. James’ midseason injury played a role in the misfortune but there were issues beyond that, and the team has some retooling to do this offseason. The fact that the Lakers have already acknowledged they won’t make the playoffs could bump the spread a couple points because the level of motivation to compete in this game may not be there.
Free NBA ATS Picks
The Raptors are going to be big-time favorites, and while they are the much deeper team, the Lakers still have James. He may not play a ton of minutes but look for him to dominate when out there. Toronto should grab this victory but the Lakers are the pick to hang around enough to cover the spread in NBA betting lines.
NBA ATS Pick: Toronto Raptors 117, Los Angeles Lakers 109
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