Free Pick: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Los Angeles Lakers 1/29/19
Philadelphia 76ers (32-18 SU, 23-27 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (26 - 24 SU, 21-27-2 ATS)
When: Tuesday, January 29th, 2019 – 10:30 PM ET
Where: Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA
Point Spread: PHI -6.5 / LAL +6.5
Power Rankings: Los Angeles +5
Takeaways from Philadelphia and Los Angeles’s Most Recent Games
The 76ers step into this contest on the heels of a thrashing sustained at the hands of the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. As a 10.5-point underdog, the Sixers failed to produce their second consecutive when the Nuggets went to work on them and defeated them 126-110.
The Lakers snapped a three-game losing streak when they hosted the Phoenix Suns on Sunday and defeated them by a score of 116-102. The victory enabled the Lakers to cover as a 7.5-point favorite.
How the Public is Betting the Philadelphia and Los Angeles’s Game
At the time this article was written (Tuesday morning), there have been no line movements that have occurred in either Point Spread or Over/Under markets.
Overall, the series between these two cross-conference combatants has been well-balanced as each team has won two of the last four contests. Most recently, the Lakers defeated the Sixers the previous time they met in Philly in December of 2017 pulling an outright upset as an 8.5-point underdog to beat the 76ers 107-104.
The most prominent injury concern surrounding this game is none other than the absence of the NBA’s favorite son LeBron James. The King is out for this game as he continues to rehab a groin injury. However, Los Angeles will also be without Point Guard Lonzo Ball who has been with diagnosed with a Grade Three Left Ankle Sprain. Philadelphia’s star Shooting Guard Jimmy Butler is expected to return to the lineup after battling a wrist injury. This is good news for the Sixers.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
The 76ers are in the midst of a four-game West Coast road trip that takes them through California the remainder of the way until it concludes on February 2nd in Sacramento. Philly has had an extra day to prepare for this game since their most recent loss in the Mile High City on Saturday. However, Los Angeles has been enjoying a long home-stand that dates back eight days so needless to say they will be not faced with travel fatigue potentially unlike their counterparts. Los Angeles’ next true road game is not until Saturday when they head up north to Oakland to meet with the Golden State Warriors.
Can Philadelphia’s Offense Find Its Stroke With Butler Back In The Fold?
Overall, Philadelphia’s offense produces 115.6 points per game which places them fourth in the NBA. The Sixers were able to maintain production without Jimmy Butler on the court. Now, he can come in and inject some fireworks into this already explosive unit. Butler averages 19.6 points per game, and he is up against the 20th ranked scoring defense which gives up 111.7 points per contest. Moreover, Los Angeles is the worst free throw shooting team in the NBA as they hit a league-worst 68.6% of their attempts while allowing opponents to shoot a league-bottom 78.5% from the free throw line. Combining these variables with Philly’s edge in the turnover department, the Sixers are in a position to throw their weight around in the City of Angels.
Can Los Angeles Bench Keep The Lakers Under The Number?
Outside of home court advantage, the Lakers own one key edge that can keep them competitive in this contest: their bench. Philadelphia’s bench produces 34 points per game while Los Angeles’ bench generates 36.1 points per outing. This translates ultimately to a one-possession edge to the Lakers. The Lakers will need to go to their bench to get back some points that come from Philly’s advantage from the charity stripe.
The most unique betting trend surrounding this game is the narrative that the Away Team has won the last four meetings. In addition, the Under is also 7-3-1 ATS in the previous 11 contests between both sides.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Philadelphia -6.5
Overall, Philadelphia has played below .500 basketball on the road this season, and they are in the midst of a road trip that has been extensive in terms of traveling. Despite all of this, they are still significantly favored here, and that strikes a bell especially considering they were dominated in their last take. The bottom line is that Los Angeles is a team that is not a .500 team in its own right unless LeBron James is on the floor. As we have seen with every team LBJ plays for, he elevates these teams to championship caliber. When he is not there, these same teams flounder. This has been the motif overall for Los Angeles as of late in his absence, but it doesn’t help matters when Philadelphia has one of their best players (Butler) back in the fold for this match-up. Very simply, Philadelphia is the better team on paper in this scenario, and it is very well likely that they are under-priced in light of what transpired in Denver on Saturday. This is where we take advantage.