LeBron James Injury Moving Spread, Over/Under for Lakers vs. Rockets (Thursday, August 6)

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Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers

  • This afternoon, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that LeBron James will not play against Houston on Thursday due to an injured groin.
  • The betting market has reacted swiftly to the news. After opening as 2.5-point favorites, the Lakers are now listed as consensus 3.5-point underdogs.
  • Check out updated analysis for odds and picks for Lakers vs. Rockets.

Tonight’s Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets game (9 p.m. ET, TNT) has lost much of its luster with the news that LeBron James won’t play due to an injured groin.

Since Los Angeles is on the second game of a back-to-back and has already locked up the top playoff seed in the Western Conference, LeBron sitting was always a possibility, and the betting market has taken note.

The Lakers opened as consensus 2.5-point favorites over the Rockets, but as of 7 p.m. ET, Los Angeles has flipped to a 3.5-point underdog.

LeBron’s absence is also affecting the Lakers vs. Rockets over/under. The total opened at 229 and fell as low as 224 before rebounding to 226 at most sportsbooks across the market.

Interestingly, while the spread changed much more suddenly this afternoon following the news, the total has dropped consistently since opening, suggesting that bettors may have been projecting LeBron’s status before the injury announcement for tonight was made.

Unsurprisingly, The Action Network’s NBA public betting data is reporting that 71% of spread bets have come in on the Rockets.

Betting action on the total has been much more balanced, with 51% of tickets taking the over.

[Bet $20+ on the Lakers or Rockets at PointsBet and Win $125 if they make at least one 3-pointer]

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