Lakers at 76ers Preview
By Tony Mejia Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS)
Betting Odds BreakdownThe Lakers opened as a 4.5-point road favorite with a total of 220.
Eye TestThe Lakers just got Anthony Davis back on Monday after surviving his five-game absence by finishing 4-1 but they’re 2-1 with him back. L.A. is sporting the Western Conference’s top record, up 4.5 games on the Jazz and Clippers. The Lakers own the best road mark in the NBA (20-4), moving one victory ahead of Milwaukee after sweeping the Knicks and Nets on consecutive nights.
The 76ers had their four-game winning streak snapped in Toronto on Wednesday. Philadelphia is now 2.5 games behind Toronto in the Atlantic and are two back of Boston. The Sixers have been a completely different team at home and can match the Bucks for the NBA’s top mark on their home floor by improving to 21-2 here. Although Joel Embiid has begun practicing, he’ll miss his ninth consecutive game due to a torn ligament in his left hand. Shooting guard Josh Richardson is out for a few weeks due to a hamstring issue so Philly’s depth will be tested.
Current FormThe Lakers bounced back from a blowout loss in Boston on Monday by surviving the Knicks’ upset bid at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, winning 100-92 after being even with lowly New York at the break. L.A. is now 3-1 on its current road trip after bouncing Brooklyn 128-113 behind another triple-double from LeBron James (27 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists). L.A. has won 12 of their last 14 since Dec. 29 (8-5-1 ATS).
Philadelphia held off Brooklyn on Monday behind Ben Simmons' first 30-point game of his career. The former No. 1 overall pick scored 34 and added 12 rebounds, 12 assists and five steals in a 117-111 triumph over the Nets. He came up with 17 points and team-highs of 10 rebounds and eight assists in Wednesday’s 107-95 loss to the Raptors. The 76ers are 6-4 in January.
Head-to-HeadThis is the first meeting of the season between these teams, who will square off again at Staples Center on March 3. The 76ers have won four of five in the series, posting a 143-120 victory on Feb. 10 of 2019. Kyle Kuzma scored 39 points on 14-for-21 shooting and JaVale McGee added 21 points and 13 boards on 10-for-15 shooting. James had 18 points, 10 bards and nine assists. Embiid led the way with 37 points and 14 rebounds while Simmons struggled, shooting just 3-for-13. James didn’t play in the Lakers’ 121-105 at Staples last January.
Inside the Stats (Away/Home)Points Per Game:
L.A. Lakers 114.0 (114.6)
Philadelphia 108.4 (111.4)
L.A. Lakers 106.2 (108.8)
Philadelphia 105.1 (101.5)
Away-Home Records-- L.A. Lakers 20-4 SU, 13-11
-- Philadelphia 20-2 SU, 12-9-1 ATS
Situational (Interconference Matchup)The Lakers are 14-2 SU (7-9 ATS) in the role of road favorite outside of Staples, so that number excludes their “away” setback against the Clippers on opening night. It does include this week’s games on the East Coast, which L.A. won’t see again until its final road trip of the season from March 21-30 where visits to Charlotte and Washington are on the docket.
The 76ers have only not been favored at home twice all season. Philly crushed the Bucks on Christmas Day 121-109 as a three-point underdog and beat the Celtics in a pick’em on Jan. 9, posting a 109-98 victory.
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Betcha Didn’t KnowThis will be the fifth instance where the Lakers are closing out a road trip. They’ve won four of the five games but have only covered in two of the contests. James is 17 points shy of passing Kobe Bryant for third all-time in scoring, which means he’s likely to accomplish the feat in the Laker legend’s hometown. He comes in with 33,626 points.
NBA Expert Picks – Tony MejiaWith Richardson and Embiid both out, the 76ers have become relatively easy to defend due to Simmons’ inability and reluctance to shoot from beyond the arc. If Tobias Harris and Al Horford are out of sync, the Lakers could put together a very strong defensive performance with Anthony Davis leading the way by protecting the paint. Look for the low side to prevail here.
Best Bet: Under
VI Prediction ToolThe VegasInsider.com Prediction resource gives an edge to either team in eight specific categories listed above and there are instances where both clubs receive a positive edge (). Depending on how you weigh the below factors could provide more reason to fade or follow those teams in your wagers.
|VI Edge Predictions|
Total Talk (Over-Under)L.A. Lakers: 22-23 (Away, 12-11 Under)
Philadelphia: 20-25-1 (Home, 11-9-1 Over)
The Lakers saw their run of six consecutive games where the ‘over’ prevailed end at MSG on Wednesday, but got right back on track at Barclays Center. The high side is now 6-1 in their last six road games and has connected in seven of eight overall.
The 76ers have seen 'unders' go 6-2 over the past eight, and the high side has connected in seven of the past nine home games.
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