Lakers vs. Suns Predictions, Odds, Preview

May 23, 2021
by Michael Crosson
NBA Expert

Western Conference postseason action will resume on Sunday afternoon with the Suns set to host the Lakers during the lone matchup on ABC’s nationally televised slate at 3:30 eastern time.

So, VI is getting you ready with a variety of betting resources to help handicap all the evening’s top contests.

Lakers vs. Suns Betting Resources

Betting Odds - Lakers vs. Suns

Line Movements

Subject to Change

  • Spread: Suns -2.5
  • Money-Line: Phoenix -145, Los Angeles +125
  • Total: 213

Los Angeles enters Sunday’s contest as a 2.5-point underdog against the second-seeded Suns – marking the fourth straight meeting between these teams that Phoenix has been favored in.

The total for this event currently sits at OU 213, which is the lowest over-under set for a Suns’ game since Phoenix squared off against the Pistons back on February 5th (U 212).

Devin Booker and the Suns have taken two of three matchups from the Lakers as they meet on Sunday. (AP)

Lakers vs. Suns Current Form

After struggling for months due to the extended absences of superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers finally appeared to get healthy towards the end of the regular season – but still, several unanswered questions swirled Los Angeles before the start of the play-in tournament.

The Lakers looked horrible at the offensive end of the floor during their win over Golden State this past Wednesday – considering Los Angeles mounted just 103 points on 43% from the floor and 32% from beyond the arc in the contest.

The Lakers still managed to end the injury discussions surrounding them during that event though – as Los Angeles put together a phenomenal 48-minute defensive effort on the way to claiming the seventh seed in the conference with a three-point victory over Golden State and the red-hot Stephen Curry.

On the other side of things, Phoenix concluded its impressive regular-season campaign on a high note as well – with the Suns heading into this series riding a three-game winning streak that nearly stole the top seed in the conference away from Utah at the buzzer.

Unfortunately though, the Suns fell one game short of the Jazz in this year’s standings – which has left Phoenix in a problematic position to open the playoffs, after putting forth magnificent full-season effort to follow up the Suns’ perfect 8-0 run in the bubble.

Lakers vs. Suns Head-to-Head

  • May 9, 2021 - Lakers 123 vs. Suns 110, Los Angeles +6.5, Over 217
  • Mar. 21, 2021 - Suns 111 vs. Lakers 94, Phoenix -10, Under 217
  • Mar. 2, 2021 - Suns 114 at Lakers 104, Phoenix -1.5, Over 216

Phoenix was victorious in two of three matchups against the Lakers during the regular season – with two of those contests cruising over the total at an average of 225.5 points per game, and the other falling 20 points short of that previously mentioned average.

Phoenix and Los Angeles split the two high-scoring contests 1-1, as both teams managed to claim a double-digit victory in matchup over the other – ultimately, leading to ‘over’ results in both affairs.

James and Davis didn’t participate in the other matchup between these teams, so that event can pretty much get tossed out of this equation.

For what it is worth though, these teams did manage to cash an ‘under’ result in a matchup this season – thanks to Los Angeles scoring just 94 points on 41.2% from the floor and 20% from downtown during a 17-point loss.

(SU-Straight Up, ATS - Against the Spread, OU - Over-Under)

Los Angeles Lakers Betting Outlook

Inside the Stats (2020-2021)

  • Overall: 43-30 SU, 32-39-1 ATS, 28-43-1 OU
  • Road: 21-15 SU, 18-17-1 ATS, 12-23-1 OU

After winning last year’s championship in the NBA bubble, Los Angeles reloaded with some key rotational pieces this past offseason and immediately showed significant signs of improvement compared to last year’s squad – considering the Lakers boasted a record of 21-6 prior to AD’s extensive injury absence.

Once Davis became unavailable, the Lakers’ rotation completely fell apart and the defending champs cooled off significantly – posting a record of 7-7 across the first 14-game stint with their All-Star forward on the sidelines.

After that stretch is where things really went south for the Lakers though, as LeBron suffered an ankle injury that held him out for over a month of action – resulting in a miserable 16-game window with very little star power available at L.A.’s disposal (7-9).

Phoenix Suns Betting Outlook

Inside the Stats (2020-2021)

  • Overall: 51-21 SU, 42-28-2 ATS, 42-30 OU
  • Home: 27-9 SU, 23-13 ATS, 21-15 OU

The Suns entered the second half of this season with intentions of making a push for the top seed out west down the homestretch – and despite falling one game short of their ultimate goal, Phoenix still gave the Jazz a run for their money in a race that Utah looked to have wrapped up pretty early on.

The Suns posted an impressive record of 23-8 across the back half of the season – with only one of the Suns’ losses during that timeframe coming at home. (San Antonio +12.5).

Regarding the total though, Phoenix finished up the regular season possessing the top over-percentage across the Western Conference – with the total going 'over' at a 42-30 clip in Suns’ games this year (58.3%).

The Suns seem content plowing ahead with that newfound high-tempo style of play too – considering Phoenix heads into this series after closing out the season with ‘over’ results in nine-of-ten contests.

Key Injuries

Los Angeles Lakers

  • SF Jared Dudley: Knee - Questionable

Phoenix Suns

  • C Deandre Ayton: Knee - Probable
  • SF Jae Crowder: Ankle - Probable
  • PF Cameron Johnson: Wrist - Probable

Lakers vs. Suns Player Prop Best Bet

Chris Paul – Over 17.5 Points (-118)

Despite finishing up his first season with the Suns averaging just over 16 points per game, Chris Paul appeared to switch it into playoff-gear a little early this year as his new team pushed for the top seed in the conference down the homestretch – highlighted by 20-point performances in 8-of-15 contests leading into Sunday, with all but two of his ‘under’ results across that span coming in matchups separated by at least 10 points.

I’ll back CP3 to fully embrace his postseason form against the Lakers here, as the 11-time All-Star must continue doing big things for his team throughout this series if Phoenix plans on getting by the defending champs.

Lakers vs. Suns Prediction

Despite losing just five games during last year’s dominant postseason title run, the Lakers lost each of their series openers in the first two rounds against Portland and Houston before sweeping them out of the playoffs with four straight wins – which caused me to think twice about making this pick.

Barring another significant injury to one of L.A.’s superstars though – I really think the defending champs will find a way to get it done in this series and move on to the next round.

So, I’ll ride with the Lakers here – as I still haven’t seen enough from Phoenix yet to warrant betting against King James as an underdog in the postseason.

Score Prediction: Lakers 106, Suns 103
Best Bet: Los Angeles +2.5