Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Lakers

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Phoenix Suns will travel to the Staples Center on Tuesday night to take on the Los Angeles Lakers in a Western Conference matchup. This game will be the first of three games between these teams during the season. The Suns are fourth in the Western Conference with a 22-11 record and are riding a two-game winning streak. They are coming off a 118-99 road victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday. The Lakers are second in the Western Conference with a 24-11 record. They are also riding a two-game winning streak after defeating the Golden State Warriors 117-91 on Sunday.

These teams are playing statistically similar so far this season but the absence of Anthony Davis could be the difference-maker here. Let’s take a deeper dive and figure out where we should be placing our wagers.

D-Book Isn’t Fully Written Yet

The Phoenix Suns have had a big start to the regular season and shooting guard Devin Booker has been leading the scoring. He is averaging 25.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 0.8 steals in 34.3 minutes of action. He is shooting pretty well as he is 50.1 percent from the floor, 36.7 percent from deep, and 84 percent from the charity stripe. In his last game against the Timberwolves, Booker played 34 minutes and finished with 43 points, five rebounds, five assists, and a block. If he can replicate this performance, the Suns will be thrilled.

The Phoenix Suns have been a good defense to begin the year as they are the fourth-ranked team by giving up 107.5 points per game. In their last game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, they gave up 99 points on 35-of-93 (37.6 percent) from the field, 8-of-35 (22.9 percent) from beyond the arc, and 24 opportunities at the free-throw line. If they can defend the three as well as they did here, not many teams will beat them.

The Chosen One

Small forward LeBron James has been one of the best players in the league as per usual. He is averaging 25.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.6 blocks in 34.5 minutes on the court. He is shooting well as he is 50.4 percent from the floor, 35.8 percent from the three-point line, and 69.5 percent from the free-throw line. In his last game against the Warriors, James played 24 minutes and finished with 19 points, six rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and two steals. If he can figure out a way to repeat this performance while Anthony Davis is out, the Lakers would love it.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been a solid defense in the league at this point as they are giving up 105.6 points per game, which ranks 2nd in the NBA. In their last game against the Golden State Warriors, they allowed 91 points on 35-of-86 (40.7 percent) from the floor, 8-of-34 (23.5 percent) from beyond the arc, and shot 19 free-throws. If the Lake Show can figure out how to force teams to shoot 40 percent consistently, it will help them out in the future.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

Adjusted offensive rating is a way to tell how many points a team is getting per 100 possessions. The Suns are eighth in the league with a 114.4 offensive rating while the Lakers are 18th with a 111.2 offensive rating. Free-throw shooting can be the reason a team covers the ball or does not. Phoenix is second in the league shooting 83.3 percent from the line while Los Angeles is shooting 25th in the league at 74.5 percent. The Suns are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games while the Lakers are 2-4 ATS in their last six games. Go with the Phoenix Suns to cover the spread on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers in this game.

Phoenix +1.5

Want another opinion on this pick?


Full-Game Total Pick

Looking at the last five totals for each team is a way to tell where these teams are going to be in the future games. The Suns are averaging 224.4 total points in their last five games while the Lakers are averaging 209.4 total points. Shooting at the rim (inside five feet of the basket) is important to increase your scoring output. Phoenix is eighth in the league shooting 63.2 percent at the rim while Los Angeles is shooting the third-highest at 65.7 percent. The over has hit in five of the last six road games for the Suns against teams with a winning road record while the Lakers had the over go 5-0-1 in their last six games against teams with a winning record. All the numbers and trends are saying to go with the OVER here.

OVER 216