Anthony Davis gets a great matchup tonight in a game where the Lakers need him to show up. With the Suns frontcourt depleted, see why our NBA picks see value in backing the Brow.
Wednesday’s NBA betting board comes to a close when the Phoenix Suns visit the Los Angeles Lakers for a 10 p.m. ET tipoff tonight.
Phoenix is parked in the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference standings but sliding backwards after losing three of its last four outings, including a stop in Oklahoma City to start this current three-game road trip. The Suns are not only missing Kevin Durant but will be without center Deandre Ayton again tonight.
The Lakers are on the cusp of qualifying for the Western Conference play-in tournament, sitting in 11th place entering Wednesday. Los Angeles picked up a win over Orlando last time out and is half a game back of ninth and 10th place and just one and a half games back of sixth in a drum-tight West.
I run down the spread and Over/Under total for this matchup and give my best NBA picks and predictions for Suns at Lakers on March 22.
Suns vs Lakers best odds
Suns vs Lakers picks and predictions
All eyes are on Anthony Davis during this stretch, who hasn’t had the best series of showings in March. He scored only 15 points on 6-for-15 shooting against Orlando, had some bad touches late in the loss to the Mavericks in which he scored 26 points, and put up just 17 points in the loss to New York on March 12.
Tonight, however, Davis will be L.A.’s go-to guy. The Suns are down center Deandre Ayton and will either throw some lesser-used centers or smaller forwards at Los Angeles’ standout big man, who should control the paint and wreak havoc on the offensive glass against an undermanned and undersized opponent.
Davis has been losing some of his offensive touches since the return of point guard D’Angelo Russell to the Lakers lineup on March 10, but Russell takes on a sound Suns perimeter with capable defenders that can switch without consequences with smaller forwards on the floor. That will force the ball out of his hands and see L.A. start the bulk of their offensive sets with dump-ins to Davis.
While we can nitpick Davis’ work, he has carried this team since LeBron James went down in late February. In those 11 games, he’s averaging 26.2 points and tonight’s rising team total for the Lakers (114.5) puts his projected output around 26.8 points.
Some books are dealing Davis’ point total as low as 25.5 (Over -125) and when you factor in the massive hole inside for the Suns with Ayton out and consider what they have left to throw out there, I like Davis to have an above-average output in La-La Land tonight.
My best bet: Anthony Davis Over 25.5 points (-125)
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Suns vs Lakers spread analysis
Phoenix opened as high as a 2-point road favorite in L.A. tonight, but with Ayton sidelined again and Davis expected to play, this line slimmed to as low as Suns -0.5 at some books as of Wednesday morning. The market consensus is Phoenix -1 at 11 a.m. ET.
The Suns are coming off a rough loss in Oklahoma City on Sunday, in which they held a 15-point lead and controlled the game until the fourth quarter. The Thunder’s aggressive attacking offense scored 56 points in the paint and benefitted from not having Ayton in the middle.
The Lakers are another team that likes to get to the key, ranked No. 6 in points in the paint. While that transition offense is missing a major weapon with LeBron James out of action, L.A. does have some scoring pop at point guard and Davis has mostly been on a tear since James went down with a foot injury.
The Lakers are just 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS in their last five games, which included a bad loss at Houston and a sloppy nail-biting defeat to Dallas. However, Los Angeles got right with a win over Orlando on Sunday, thanks in large part to 61 points from the bench.
Depth has plagued Phoenix since swapping out multiple role players for Durant at the trade deadline. His injury along with Ayton absence has put a lot of stress on Monty Williams’ rotations, which rely heavily on the starters to log major minutes.
The Suns are 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS since Durant injured his ankle in warmup against OKC back on March 8. Granted, Phoenix has faced some tougher foes in that span, playing the Thunder twice, Golden State (on the road), Sacramento, and Milwaukee.
These franchises haven’t faced off since December and both rosters look very different now, so throw those past meetings out the window when it comes to capping this one.
Suns vs Lakers Over/Under analysis
The Over/Under total for tonight’s game hit the board at 227.5 and bounced between that opener and 228 points. It has since risen to as high as 229.5.
The Lakers’ roster revamp at the trade deadline has injected this team with defensive intensity, flipping L.A.’s defensive rating from 117.3 (27th) before those moves to 109.6 (first) in the 16 games with this current rotation. Even the loss of LeBron hasn’t hurt the Lakers’ work on the defensive end that much, with a 110.9 rating since he went down in late February (second).
That stingy play has helped produce a 5-11 Over/Under record in those 16 games with this current roster, including three straight Under results heading into Wednesday. The Lakers offense is spotty at best and missing James more on that end of the floor, averaging just 113 points over those 11 LeBron-less games.
The Suns have also seen a downtick in their offensive efforts without Durant on the floor, however, we only got a small sample size before he went down with an ankle injury. Phoenix owns an offensive rating of 110.4 during this current five-game slump and hasn’t been able to counter than on the defensive end, lugging a -6.6 net rating in this span. That’s burped out a 3-1-1 O/U mark.
Losing Ayton may be a bigger loss on the defensive end, especially when faced with an interior attack like Los Angeles. The 7-footer changes plenty of shots inside and is great on the weakside help as well as the defensive glass. Ayton’s injury also leaves the Suns susceptible to foul troubles and mismatches in the frontcourt versus a talent like Davis, with backup centers Bismack Biyombo and Jock Landale out of their depth on defense and the rest of the Phoenix forwards running small.
Los Angeles was running out one of the faster paces in the NBA but since losing James as their motor in transition, L.A.’s pace rating has dipped to 99.86 (12th) over the last 11 games. The Suns have seen their pace rating spike to 103.3 during this five-game flop but that has more to do with their opposition, with OKC, Sacramento, Milwaukee, and Golden State all ranking among the quicker tempos in the league.
Suns vs Lakers betting trend to know
The Lakers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games. Find more NBA betting trends for Suns vs. Lakers.
Suns vs Lakers game info
|Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
|Wednesday, March 22, 2023
|10:00 p.m. ET