Suns vs. Lakers Odds, Pick, Prediction: Shorthanded Los Angeles Faces Tough Test (December 21)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Paul #3 and Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns.
- The Lakers host the Suns on Tuesday as a big underdog.
- Los Angeles is without Anthony Davis, while Phoenix has been surging since an early slow start.
- Jacob McKenna breaks down the game and gives his top pick below.
Suns vs. Lakers Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns make a quick trip over to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers on Tuesday.
Phoenix has been dealing with some injuries lately to their star players, but it appears they have gotten over the hump and are back on the right path. Meanwhile, injuries and COVID-19 are both taking a toll on the Lakers.
Can L.A. overcome the adversity they face and defend their home court, or will Phoenix walk away with a road win simply because they are the healthier team?
Suns Continue to Roll on Both Ends
Once again, the Suns are legitimate title contenders and find themselves sitting in first place in the Western Conference.
A huge reason for their success this season has their ability to take control of the game on both ends of the floor, which has not been easy for many teams to do this season. According to NBA Advanced Stats, the Suns have a +7.1 Net Rating this season, the third-best mark in the NBA behind only the Warriors and Jazz.
In addition, when you begin to look at their current three-game win streak, which features back-to-back 20-plus point wins, their numbers become even more impressive. Phoenix’s Net Rating increases to 18.3 in that span, and they have been incredibly efficient with a 59.9% Effective Field Goal percentage.
Booker finally made his return to the floor against the Hornets after a lengthy absence due to a hamstring injury, a game in which Phoenix won by a 31-point margin. Booker played just 26 minutes in that matchup, but it appears he is well on his way to heading towards the usual 32-35 minutes he plays on a nightly basis, which is more good news for this Suns squad.
Lakers’ Health Their Biggest Hurdle
Like most teams in the NBA, the COVID-19 virus has found its way into the Lakers locker room.
Dwight Howard, Kent Bazemore, Avery Bradley, Malik Monk, Talen Horton-Tucker, and Austin Reaves will all miss this game due to health and safety protocols, which is a massive blow to the Lakers’ depth.
In addition, Anthony Davis suffered an MCL sprain over the weekend and will not suit up for a few weeks, making things even more complicated for this Lakers team.
Even though a lot if what is happening to the Lakers is out of their control, things have not looked pretty for L.A over the course of the last several games. Over the span of their last three matchups, the Lakers have managed to put up a -5.4 Net Rating, which is mostly because of their Offensive Rating only being 99 in that same span of games.
They have been forced to utilize an eight man rotation due to their COVID and injury issues, and as of right now it appears they just don’t have enough reinforcements to back up LeBron James and Russell Westbrook.
The Lakers have played their best basketball while on their home court this season, but I’m not sure they are going to be able to overcome the obstacles that are currently in front of them.
When it comes to health, Phoenix and the Lakers are trending in two different directions. Booker and Deandre Ayton are back in the fold and looking healthy once again, but Davis is out and other key bench players likely won’t play for the foreseeable future, which appears to have thrown the Lakers for a loop.
I think Phoenix is simply the healthier team, and given their dominant performance recently, I think it is likely they take advantage of a depleted Lakers roster and grab a win on the road, where they are 10-3 overall this season. I would play the spread to -9.5.
Pick: Phoenix Suns -7 (-110)