Lakers vs. Bucks NBA expert prediction and odds for Tuesday, March 26 (Lakers can cover)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Los Angeles Lakers-Milwaukee Bucks matchup in the NBA on Tuesday.

Los Angeles Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell (1) celebrates.
Los Angeles Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell (1) celebrates. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The first nationally televised matchup on Tuesday night takes place between the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks, who played one of the best games of the season back on March 8, with the LeBron James-less Lakers pulling out a one-point win in L.A.

Now, the final game between these teams in the regular season takes place at Fiserv Forum, with the Bucks set as home favorites. 

Can the Lakers, who are opening up a gap on the No. 10-seeded Golden State Warriors, pick up another win as they look to avoid the play-in tournament? It won’t be easy, especially with James (ankle) listed as doubtful for this matchup. 

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Here’s a look at the odds, key players and my best bet for this matchup: 

Lakers vs. Bucks odds, spread and total

Lakers vs. Bucks how to watch

  • Date: Tuesday, March 26
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Fiserv Forum
  • How to watch (TV): TNT
  • Lakers record: 39-32
  • Bucks record: 46-25

Lakers vs. Bucks injury reports

Lakers injury report

  • Colin Castleon – out
  • Anthony Davis – probable
  • Jalen Hood-Schifino – out
  • LeBron James – doubtful
  • Jarred Vanderbilt – out
  • Gabe Vincent – out
  • Christian Wood – out

Bucks injury report

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo – probable
  • MarJon Beauchamp – questionable
  • Jaylin Galloway – available
  • Chris Livingston – available
  • Khris Middleton – probable
  • TyTy Washington – available
  • Ryan Rollins – available

Lakers vs. Bucks key players to watch

Los Angeles Lakers

D’Angelo Russell: Russell has been terrific for the Lakers this season, averaging 18.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game while shooting 46.7 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from beyond the arc. Last time out against Milwaukee, Russell carried the Lakers, scoring 44 points on 17-of-25 shooting to lead the team to a win. 

Milwaukee Bucks

Damian Lillard: An All-Star starter this season, Lillard dropped 28 on the Lakers the last time these teams met, but he has been up and down since then, posting four 30-point games and three games with fewer than 18 points in his last seven matchups. Will the Bucks get a good game from Dame tonight? 

Lakers vs. Bucks prediction and pick

These may not be the Lakers of old when LeBron James isn't able to play. 

After going 8-18 without LeBron in the 2021-22 season and 13-14 without him in the 2022-23 season, the Lakers are 5-4 straight up without the NBA’s all-time leading scorer this season. 

A big reason for that has been the health of Davis, but players like Russell (especially in the last meeting against the Bucks) and Austin Reaves (who carried the Lakers to a win in Boston this season) have also stepped up when called upon. 

The Lakers also have just two losses buy more than 8.5 points without James, one coming against the Los Angeles Clippers and the other coming against the Golden State Warriors right out of the All-Star break. 

Milwaukee has been improved on the defensive end of the floor under Doc Rivers, but the team is still just 15-16-1 against the spread as a home favorite. Can we really trust the Bucks, who lost outright as road favorites in Los Angeles, to cover this number?

I’m not sold. 

The Lakers are average against the spread as a road dog – going 11-10 ATS this season – but the team loses those games by an average margin of just 5.7 points per game. 

Milwaukee’s weakness, like many expected, has been its guard defense, letting Russell torch the team earlier this season. With the Lakers still fighting for a play-in spot and the Bucks looking locked into the No. 2 seed in the East, Los Angeles has a lot more to play for in this matchup. 

Even with James likely out, I wouldn't be shocked to see the Lakers hang around in this one. 

Pick: Lakers +8.5 (-110)

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.