Lakers vs. Hawks NBA Odds & Picks: Bet the Los Angeles Team Total
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James.
- The Los Angeles Lakers take on the Atlanta Hawks in Monday night NBA action.
- Both teams boast top-10 defenses while the under has cashed in 29 of the teams' 40 games.
- Joe Dellera breaks down the game below and shares a betting pick based on his analysis.
Lakers vs. Hawks Odds
The Lakers take on the Hawks in Atlanta for this Monday night matchup of two teams with top-10 Net Ratings.
Both of these teams have explosive offenses, but will this be a defensive showdown?
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers continue to list LeBron James and Anthony Davis as questionable, but LeBron has been listed as questionable 17 times this season and has played in all 17 games.
This season, the Lakers are once again a defensive force and they have the top Defensive Rating in the NBA (105), per NBA Advanced Stats.
Two of the major keys to their defensive success has been their ability to limit opponents’ offensive rebounds and free-throw opportunities.
By securing the paint and limiting chances to score points at the free-throw line, the Lakers control the tempo and can force opponents to actually score against the top-ranked defense.
The Lakers are about league average in limiting transition opportunities, which is critical because they can then force opponents to play against their half-court defense which is second-best in the league in opponents’ points per 100 possessions.
If Los Angeles can slow Atlanta down, this would take it out of its comfort zone as it prefers to play in transition.
The Hawks are listing a few players on the injury report for this game. While Trae Young and Onyeka Okongwu are both listed as probable, the Hawks will be without De’Andre Hunter with a right knee injury.
While Hunter isn’t the star of the Hawks, he does play a vital role for this team.
Hunter owns a +6.5-point differential this season, per Cleaning the Glass. The biggest swing for Hunter missing this game is the Hawks are 7.3 points better with him on defense than without him.
Without Hunter on the floor to try and slow down LeBron, the Hawks don’t have a reliable defensive option to stack against him.
The Lakers and the Hawks both boast top-10 defenses and are a combined 29-11 to the under, per BetLabs.
If Hunter were playing, I’d feel more confident about a full-game total. However, given the Hawks are giving up 114.0 points per 100 possessions with him off the floor vs. 106.7 with him on, I’m skeptical that Atlanta will be able to slow down the Lakers’ seventh-ranked offense.
On the other side of the ball, the Lakers’ defense continues to smother top-10 offenses relative to the rest of the league, but they still allow nearly four more points per 100 compared to their full-season mark.
Atlanta takes the most free throws per game (26.7), but if it’s unable to draw fouls on LA’s stingy defense, this could limit its own scoring opportunities.
When the Hawks play top-10 teams in Net Rating, their offense continues to perform, but their defense deteriorates as they give up 116.8 points per 100 possessions.
The Lakers average 112.0 points per game this season. With the Hawks’ defensive rating taking a plunge against top teams and the team missing a top defender in Hunter, I’m concerned the Lakers could ruin the full-game total themselves.
Make sure LeBron and Davis play, but if they do, fire away on their team total.
Pick: Lakers Over 112