Wednesday NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: 76ers vs. Lakers Betting Preview (March 23)
Ned Dishman/Getty Images. Pictured: Joel Embiid.
- The 76ers are favored against the Lakers on Tuesday night.
- LeBron James was a late stratch for Los Angeles, which is fighting for a playoff spot.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting prediction.
Editor’s Note: The Los Angeles Lakers have announced that LeBron James will sit out Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers. For real-time updates to these lineups, check out our FantasyLabs NBA news page.
76ers vs. Lakers Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
This primetime matchup features the NBA’s two leaders in points this season.
LeBron James is leading the way at 30.0 points per game, his highest mark since 2008 in his first run with the Cavs. James has been scoring at all three levels as he tries to keep the Lakers in the playoff picture.
Second in the scoring race is Joel Embiid, who is averaging a career-high 29.8 points per game. He does most of his damage destroying opposing centers. Embiid is the MVP favorite at most sportsbooks.
These two are going to fill up the scoreboard, but will the role players for each team be able to put up enough points to send this total over the 229 mark?
76ers Coming Back to Earth a Bit
The Philadelphia 76ers are starting to plateau a little bit after a ridiculous winning streak. They are 44-27 this season and rank 2.5 games back of the top seed in the Eastern Conference. They are actually better when playing on the road this season with a record of 23-11 and are sizable favorites tonight.
Despite their two star players Joel Embiid and James Harden sitting last game, the 76ers beat the Miami Heat, the best team in the conference. The 76ers got a huge performance from Tyrese Maxey, who finished with 28 points. Maxey has been sensational in his sophomore season.
Embiid still leads the way for this 76ers team and he will be back for this matchup against the Lakers. He ranks second in both points with 29.8 and usage rate with 36.8% per game. Embiid has been so difficult to guard. He leads the league with 11.8 free throw attempts per game making 82.2%.
Harden has been a bit disappointing since joining the 76ers. He is playing 38 minutes per game which is a ton, but he has been very hot and cold. Harden is shooting 43% from the field, but is averaging 22.4 points and 10.5 assists per game. He has played an absurd 41 minutes per game in his last five games.
Outside of those two superstars, the player that has been hit the most has been Tobias Harris. Even when Harden and Embiid sit, Harris doesn’t look comfortable right now. It obviously doesn’t help he has been in foul trouble in three of his last four games, but his usage rate is 17.8% in his last eight games.
The Lakers are an incredible easy matchup, especially for Embiid without Anthony Davis. They allow the fourth-most points in the paint with 51.0 per game. The Lakers also play at the sixth-fastest pace in the league which is perfect for Harden. This is a great spot for the 76ers, but the books agree, with the number opening up around -8.
LeBron Willing Lakers to Wins
The Los Angeles Lakers are hanging on to the ninth seed in the Western Conference coming off a great road victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers. They are 31-41 this season, but have a 20-17 record at home.
A big reason why is the performances that LeBron James has been putting together. Over the last three games, James is averaging 37.3 points per game while shooting 57.1% from the field. He is also filling it up with the peripherals averaging 10 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game.
James is now leading the entire league averaging 30 points per game. He recently took the crown over Embiid as he tries to will the Lakers into the playoffs. This is the most that James has been scoring since his early years for the Cavaliers. The level he is playing at 37-years old is remarkable.
Besides James going Hercules mode, the Lakers don’t have much to offer with Anthony Davis still out due to injury. Russell Westbrook is the next “best” player on the Lakers but his 18.1 points per game is the lowest he has averaged since the 2009-10 season with the Thunder. The peripherals are lacking as well by Westbrook’s standards as he is averaging 7.5 rebounds and 7.2 assists.
Talen Horton-Tucker is listed as questionable but everyone else on the Lakers should be good to go. Carmelo Anthony and Malik Monk can get hot from time to time, but this matchup against the 76ers is difficult for them. The 76ers allow the third-fewest 3-pointers made this season with 11.3 per game.
Not only are they great defending the perimeter, but the 76ers rank in the top 10 in defensive rating and play at the second-slowest pace in the league. They allow only 106.75 points per game, which ranks as the seventh-lowest this season. The Lakers are implied for 110.5 points in this difficult matchup.
The 76ers will control the pace of this game with Joel Embiid imposing his will in the paint. Their games have gone under 229 points in seven of their last nine. Despite the Lakers playing fast and having an awful defense, the 76ers will have no trouble slowing down the game.
The Lakers are going to have a difficult time scoring the basketball, especially if James ever has an off shooting night.
This line opening at 231 points and is still at 230 at DraftKings and BetRivers. As of Wednesday morning, it sits at 229 or 229.5 at most books. I’m comfortable playing it down to 227.
Pick: Under 230
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