Wizards vs. Lakers Odds & Picks: With Davis Out, LA’s Offensive Struggles Likely to Continue
Meg Oliphant/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Caruso, Montrezl Harrell, and Kyle Kuzma.
- The Wizards have won four straight, and the Lakers have struggled since Anthony Davis went down.
- Washington's improved defense should be solid, particularly when LeBron James is off the floor.
- Joe Dellera breaks it down and makes his pick for tonight's game below.
Wizards vs. Lakers Odds
|Moneyline||+220 / -275|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Sunday evening and via BetMGM.|
The Wizards are on a four-game winning streak and riding some hot play by the duo of Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal. The Wizards have been refocused on defense and beat some quality opponents during this stretch.
The Lakers are reeling since the loss of Anthony Davis, and after nearly dropping a game to the lowly Timberwolves they’ve lost two in a row to the Nets and Heat. Can the Lakers right the ship against the Wizards?
Let’s break it down.
Although Westbrook has played both ends of some of the Wizards’ most recent back-to-backs, keep tabs on his rest status using our Fantasy Labs Insiders Tools, since this is the second half of one.
During the Wizards’ four-game win streak, they’ve truly locked in on defense as they’ve only allowed opponents to score 106 points per 100 possessions over these past four games. A large part of this has been some much-needed regression towards the mean from an allowed eFG% perspective. During this win streak, the Wizards are allowing opponents to shoot just 49.7% eFG%, which is in stark contrast to their 55.1% allowed eFG% on the season.
While this is an impressive swing, it does fall along with one key stat: expected allowed eFG%. During this win streak, the Wizards’ expected allowed eFG% is 52.9%, while their season-long mark is 52.3%, the best mark in the league, per Cleaning the Glass. This shows that there’s some reason for this trend to stick.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are suffering from injuries and COVID-19 at the moment and their injury report is lengthy. Davis is missing the foreseeable future with his Achilles injury, but Dennis Schroder is currently in health and safety protocols and is out. The Lakers are also listing LeBron James (ankle-again), Kyle Kuzma (back), and Markieff Morris (ankle) as probable, however, it’s likely that they all play.
This team is different from last year’s. That team was truly built around James, with Davis as the secondary star. That’s still true, of course, but this year, the Lakers are more evenly built. One of the struggles the Lakers have had over this four-game stretch is their offensive and defensive efficiencies have fallen off a cliff, and they’re only scoring 105.8 points while giving up 114.6 per per 100 possessions.
The main problem is the Lakers are getting crushed in the non-LeBron minutes. Without AD to stem the tide in the rotations, the Lakers are struggling. Over the past four games, when LeBron is off the floor the Lakers have a -16 net rating, per NBA Advanced Stats. The defense falters, but the true concern is an offensive rating of just 95.4.
This is a dramatic decrease compared to their 111.6 offensive rating over the course of the season. Losing Davis is obviously a hit to this, but it’s been compounded by losing Schroder, too.
The Lakers are bound to pick up a win here and there without Davis, but they are going to need to grind and rely entirely on James, and even if they win, I don’t see them blowing the Wizards out in this game.
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Over the last four games, the Wizards have played fast (106.5 pace) and the Lakers have played slow (96.63). Given this stark difference in styles, I see this balancing out. Until the Lakers are able to find an offensive rhythm without AD and Schroder, their offense will be tough to trust. Considering the Wizards’ resurgent defense, this is not a place I expect to see the Lakers excel offensively.
Pick: Lakers Team Total Under 116.5