The Los Angeles Lakers (13-16) visit the Phoenix Suns (18-12) on Monday night. Action tips off at 9:10 pm ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Lakers-Suns prediction and pick.
Los Angeles has won three of their last four games but still sits in 12th place in the Western Conference. The Lakers are 12-17 against the spread while 55% of their games have gone over. Phoenix has won two straight games but has dropped to fourth place in the West. The Suns are 16-14 against the spread while 52% of their games have gone under. This will be the second of four meetings between the divisional foes. Phoenix took the first matchup, 115-105.
Here are the Lakers-Suns NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Lakers-Suns Odds
Los Angeles Lakers: +9 (-110)
Phoenix Suns: -9 (-110)
Over: 229 (-110)
Under: 229 (-110)
Why The Lakers Could Cover The Spread
The Lakers have rebounded nicely after their atrocious start but still have work to do if they want to get back into the playoff mix. The Lakers have a solid offense that ranks eighth in scoring and 19th in offensive rating. They’re average defensively, ranking 25th in points allowed and 11th in defensive rating. LA is a below-average rebounding team that ranks 17th in rebound differential and 18th in rebound rate. The Lakers will notably be without Anthony Davis as he recently suffered a potentially serious injury.
Without Anthony Davis, the Lakers will need even more from LeBron James than he’s already given them. James continues to fend off Father Time as the 37-year-old averages 27 PPG, 8.5 RPG, and 6.5 APG. He remains efficient as a scorer, shooting 49% from the field. LeBron is in the midst of a red-hot scoring run as he’s scored 30+ points and shot over 54% in four consecutive games. James has played well against his friend Chris Paul throughout his career as he averages 25.2 PPG while shooting 50% from the field in 30 career games against Paul.
LeBron will have a big game without Davis, but the Lakers still need other players to step up and help replace his production. If they want to cover a double-digit spread tonight, the Lakers will need shooting guard Lonnie Walker IV to step up. Walker has quietly put together a strong season as he averages 15.4 PPG while shooting 48% from the field. He’s coming off a 21-point game in their win over Washington where he shot 58% from the field. That being said, Walker is a streaky scorer and will need to step up in a major way if they want to cover.
Why The Suns Could Cover The Spread
Phoenix has sputtered in recent weeks but remains one of the best teams in the Western Conference. The Suns boast an elite offense that ranks 11th in scoring and third in offensive rating. They’re even better defensively where they rank seventh in points allowed and 10th in defensive rating. Phoenix is a strong rebounding team as well, ranking 12th in rebound differential and 10th in rebound rate. The Suns will notably be without star Devin Booker due to an injury.
Without Booker, the Suns will need their supporting cast to step up if they want to cover a hefty spread against a frisky Lakers team. Wing Mikel Bridges is the obvious candidate for a bump in usage. The lockdown defender typically plays more of a reserve role offensively but certainly has the skill set to propel Phoenix to cover. For the season Bridges averages 16.2 PPG while shooting 47% from the field. He’s taken a step up over his last four games, averaging 21.8 PPG despite shooting just 39%. He showed out in a big way in their earlier matchup with Los Angeles. In the win, Bridges scored 25 points while shooting 58% from the field and making five of seven threes. His recent play and track record against the Lakers are worth keeping in mind before making a Lakers-Suns prediction.
Point guard Chris Paul is a good bet to have a big night against a relatively weak Lakers perimeter defense. Paul picks his spots given his age but still has enough left in the tank to bring it when the team needs him to. For the season Paul averages just 11.1 PPG and 9.0 APG and has struggled to shoot the ball at just 39%. That being said, he’s really started to pick it up in recent games. Over his last five appearances, Paul has averaged 15.8 PPG, 9.2 APG, and 5.8 RPG while shooting 42% from the field.
Final Lakers-Suns Prediction & Pick
The Lakers have played well despite Davis’ recent injury and with Phoenix missing Devin Booker they should be able to keep things close tonight.
Final Lakers-Suns Prediction & Pick: Los Angeles Lakers +9 (-110)