Free NBA Pick: Lakers vs. Suns NBA Odds
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2021 NBA Playoffs Handicapping Round 1
(0-0) Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns (0-0)
Date: Sunday, May 23rd
Time: 3:30 PM EST
Venue: Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
NBA Moneyline Odds: Lakers +133 | Suns -143
NBA Betting Odds: Suns -3
NBA Betting Total: 213
The Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns play in the first game of their best of seven first-round series.
This is the 13th time the Suns and Lakers will face each other in a postseason series with the Lakers holding a 38-24 game and eight to four series advantage. The last time they met was the 2010 Western Conference Finals with LA taking the series 4 to 2.
The Lakers hold the all-time record between the clubs with 146 wins in 255 meetings. Phoenix took two of the three matches in the regular season.
Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James’ ankle may still be hurting but he stepped up in the play-in game nailing the 3-point game-winner. That said, he was less effective in the first half and at times on defense, he seemed to be a step slow.
It could just be rust and with a stat line featuring a triple-double of 22 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists plus two steals his effect was palpable.
The Suns will be able to throw a variety of players at James but the Lakers player who has a definite advantage is Anthony Davis
AD only played in one of the three games versus Phoenix this season, but put up a monster line of 42 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, three steals, and three blocks.
LA brings the top-ranked defense into the series but will need to find someone other than LeBron and AD to score which puts the spotlight on Dennis Schroder, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Kyle Kuzma.
Imagine finishing the season with the second-best record — not just in your conference but in the NBA only to find out your first-round opponent will be the defending champs.
Instead of being favored, they are underdogs with everyone pointing to the lack of experience on the club as Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, and Deandre Ayton to name a few will all be playing in their first playoff game and series
There are positives to draw from though such as having arguably the greatest leader in sports (Chris Paul) captaining your club. The other key was the 8-0 run the Suns made in the Disney bubble playing highly competitive games with playoff-type intensity.
The scary factor will be the first game where the youngsters will likely all be extremely nervous. On the other hand, they might be angry and motivated since the Lakers got here with some friendly whistles in the play-in match that led to the Warriors’ loss and inevitably removed Steph Curry from the postseason when they lost again versus Memphis.
Monty Williams needs to find the right buttons to push but his greatest challenge will be figuring out how to limit Anthony Davis who absolutely exposed the Suns in his lone game against them.
Since they’ve had time to prepare, presumably there was extensive film work completed with Ayton.
Abdel Nader (right knee arthroscopy) is out.
NBA Betting Trends:
- The Lakers are 7-3 in the teams last 10 head to head meetings
- The Lakers are 6-4 ATS in the last 10 head to head meetings
- Over/Under is 4-6 in the teams last 10 head to head meetings
Free Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns NBA Prediction:
As much as I want to believe the Suns can win this series this first game could be the toughest for them with all their youth having to match up versus an experienced playoff club who know how to do all the little things that can be the difference in a close game.
That said if James and Davis start out cold again that could allow Phoenix to ease into the game and build a lead. Although the Suns can match the Lakers in defensive intensity it feels like they’d be better served in a faster-paced, high-scoring match.
4* Free NBA Betting Pick: Lakers +3
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