Lakers vs. 76ers Odds & Picks: Back Los Angeles To Win as Favorites on Wednesday (Jan. 27)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Dennis Schroder
- The Los Angeles Lakers try to remain undefeated on the road this season when they head to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers.
- Should you ride with the Lakers since they're scorching hot on the road, or should you take the points with the Sixers because they've only lost once at home?
- Nick Alfano breaks down Wednesday's game and shares his betting pick below.
Lakers vs. 76ers Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
On Wednesday the Los Angeles Lakers will visit the Philadelphia 76ers in an empty Wells Fargo Center. It was just 367 days ago that these two teams met in a packed house as LeBron James passed Kobe Bryant on the NBA’s All-Time Scoring List.
A lot has changed since then, but what hasn’t is that these are two teams with high expectations. This is a matchup between conference leaders, intriguing superstar personalities, and some fun storylines with Danny Green and Dwight Howard facing their old squad for the first time.
Not to mention, Doc Rivers facing the Lakers for the first time since moving on from the Clippers. To make this game sweeter, I don’t expect any major playmakers to carry injury designations. All systems go for both teams.
Los Angeles is favored in this one, and I imagine most of the money will side with the Lakers considering that they are undefeated on the road this season.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have won 14 of their first 18 games. They are clearly the best team in the NBA right now, no matter if you’re looking at it through winning percentage or on-court performance.
Their success starts with defense. They have the best Defensive Rating in the league (103.9) and combine that with a top-10 Offensive Rating to get the NBA’s highest Net Rating by a wide margin (9.7, NBA Advanced Stats).
I could give you a laundry list of things the Lakers do well, but there are a couple stats that really stick out ahead of this matchup with Philadelphia.
First of all, Los Angeles makes shots. This is a product of hitting your open looks, creating when nothing’s there, and getting buckets when there are six hands in your face. Los Angeles boasts the fifth-best Effective Field Goal Percentage at 55.4% and that kind of shot-making will be key as the 76ers sport a top-five defense.
A big reason for Los Angeles’ scoring success comes from its role players. Alex Caruso shoots 54.5% from deep and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hits 50% of his shots from beyond the arc. Of players that shoot two or more 3-pointers per game, they rank fourth and eighth respectively in this category.
Additionally, the Lakers have the second-best Opponent Offensive Rebounding Rate (23.8%) in the NBA. The Purple and Gold will enjoy the rebounding battle against a team in Philadelphia that loves to crash the glass.
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The 76ers are an excellent team. In fact, I think it’s down to Philly or Brooklyn in the race to win the Eastern Conference. However, the Sixers don’t match up particularly well in this one.
Philadelphia has the fifth-highest turnover percentage in the NBA at 16% and that spells trouble against the best defense in the NBA.
The 76ers have the second-highest Free Throw Attempt Rate in the league (.289), but will have trouble going to the line against the Lakers who have the NBA’s best Opponent Free Throw Attempt Rate (.197, NBA Advanced Stats).
Another problem Philadelphia will deal with on Wednesday is stopping LA’s 3-point shooting. The Lakers shoot 38.9% from beyond the arc, and Philly is below average at defending the long ball.
Philly’s success comes down to how Joel Embiid can dominate in the paint. Unfortunately for the Lakers, he’s on a tear right now, scoring at least 33 points in four of his last five appearances. However, he has struggled playing against Marc Gasol recently. Last season against the Raptors, Embiid only managed 5 PPG and shot 18.2% from the field in three games. And in the seven-game playoff series against Toronto in 2019, Embiid only averaged 17.6 PPG and 37% from the field.
I expect to see more Gasol minutes than we’ve grown accustomed to in order to shut down The Process.
Bettors will have one of two thoughts heading into this game. Either you ride with the Lakers because they’re clearly the best team in the NBA and are scorching hot on the road, or you take the points with the 76ers because they’ve only lost once at home, and they were without Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in that contest.
I am in that former group as I think the Lakers are too good to lose right now. When you have role players like Caruso, Caldwell–Pope, Montrezl Harrell and Dennis Schroder playing this well alongside two of the best players in the NBA, all you can do is bet them and hope they keep rolling.
Hopefully, this game will live up to the hype. And the Lakers will come out on top.
Pick: Lakers ML (-130)