LeBron James will miss his fifth straight game tonight as the 25-27 Lakers take on the 26-27 Clippers in a battle of Los Angeles teams. WynnBET has the Lakers as 3.5-point underdogs and +135 on the moneyline (bet $10 to win $13.50) while the over/under is 220.5.
Where can bettors look for value with LeBron out?
Bet the Under with no LeBron
The Lakers just can’t have nice things this season. Almost as soon as Anthony Davis was cleared to return, LeBron gets hurt. Davis looks great, with 31, 27, and 30 points in his last three games, but the Lakers are just 1-3 in their four games without the king.
In the last five games (since Davis returned and LeBron went down), the Lakers have a top-10 defensive rating but are 25th in offensive rating. They’ve gone from playing at the 3rd-fastest pace on the season to just 14th. So they’re playing slower and have a strong defense but bad offense.
With that in mind and no return date in sight for LeBron, the under is going to present value as long as he is out. The Lakers are 6-10 without their leader this season and shoot just 39.9% from the floor, down from 46.3% on the season. More shots for Russell Westbrook typically means more missed shots, so opposing defenses would be wise to funnel the ball to Westbrook and force him to play hero ball.
Both teams’ recent schedules are presenting some value as well. The Lakers have gone over the total in two of their last three, but those games came against bottom-10 defenses in the Hawks and Hornets. When they played a top-10 defense in the 76ers, the score came well under the total.
They’ll face a top-10 defense in the Clippers tonight. The Clippers have played at the NBA’s fastest pace over the last five games, but that included games against the Pacers without Myles Turner, the Hornets, the Magic, and the Wizards. All teams with lousy defenses that play fast. On the full season, the Clippers are just 13th in pace of play.
I’ll side with the season-long trends over recent ones influenced by the schedule. As long as LeBron is out, the Lakers will struggle to score while maintaining a strong defense spearheaded by Anthony Davis.
I’ll take the under 220 (-110) and will continue to do so until LeBron returns or Westbrook starts hitting shots.
If you want to take advantage of the value the total presents, head on over to WynnBET and place your bet now!