Lakers Look to Avoid Play-In
Many NBA teams who clinched a playoff berth will be resting key players in the final weekend of the regular season. However, the Western Conference’s Play-In Tournament is still far from being decided. In fact, only one game separates the No. 5 Los Angeles Clippers and the No. 8 New Orleans Pelicans.
Enter the Los Angeles Lakers (41-39). Friday’s matchup against the Phoenix Suns (45-35) holds massive stakes.
The Lakers are in seventh place and one game back from the five and six seeds. Los Angeles hopes to avoid the Play-In Tournament, and the Suns are a favorable matchup. Phoenix could rest most of its starters. NBA odds favor the Lakers by up to double digits. Will Los Angeles edge closer to avoiding the play-in?
Suns Tabbed Favorite in West
The Phoenix Suns have clinched the No. 4 seed. There’s little reason to play vital players like guard Devin Booker (27.8 points) and forward Kevin Durant (26 points), especially after playing on Thursday night. The Suns want to enter the postseason healthy as contenders. The sportsbook lists Phoenix as the third choice to win the championship (+500) and the favorite to win the Western Conference (+215).
The Suns’ reserves will likely take center stage on Friday. Guard Cameron Payne (10.2 points) is one of the most promising online gambling prop bets. He should get extended minutes and has reached double-digit points in three of his last four games with at least 10 minutes.
Phoenix also looks to overcome road woes. It is 2-4 outright and ATS in its last six away games.
Lakers Must Win Out for Playoff Berth
Los Angeles’ top three scores are dealing with injuries. Guard D’Angelo Russell (17 points) is probable with a foot injury. Also, Anthony Davis (26.3 points) and LeBron James (29 points) are questionable with foot injuries. Both played on Wednesday in the 125-118 loss against the Los Angeles Clippers. James stuffed the stat sheet with 33 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. He is averaging 35 points over the last two games.
NBA lines have the Lakers -1000 to participate in the Play-In Tournament. They will need help to clinch a No. 6 seed or better. Los Angeles does not hold a tiebreaker over the Clippers but does own it over the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers must win out while the Warriors lose at least one game. This would put Los Angeles even with or ahead of Golden State for the No. 6 seed.
Guard Austin Reaves (12.9 points) should be a big factor on Friday against the Suns. He has emerged as a go-to scorer, averaging 22 points over the last three games. Reaves’ point total is a great option to add to your NBA bet slip.
Austin Reaves did the “too small” on Pat Bev 💀 pic.twitter.com/woy0vGIMmt
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 30, 2023
Suns vs Lakers Game Injuries
Suns vs Lakers Head-to-Head
The Suns have dominated the matchup, going 9-1 and 8-2 ATS over the last 10 meetings. Phoenix is also 4-1 outright and ATS in its last five trips to Crypto.com Arena.
Suns vs Lakers Game Information
- Game: Phoenix Suns (45-35) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (41-39)
- Location: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
- Day/Time: Friday, April 7, 10:30 p.m. ET
- Suns vs. Lakers Live Stream: NBA Game Pass
Suns vs Lakers Betting Lines
Suns vs Lakers Picks and Prediction
The Lakers feature a formidable defense, ranking eighth in opponent shooting percentage and second in opponent 3-point percentage. If the Suns are without Booker, Durant and Deandre Ayton, Phoenix’s best players will be guard-orientated players that love to shoot the three. This does not bode well against Los Angeles’ strong perimeter defense.
However, the large point spread makes this one of the most difficult NBA betting options of the night. Roll with the trends as the Suns are 4-1 ATS in their last five trips to LA. Take Phoenix to cover the spread.
Los Angeles is listed at -600 in our Vegas NBA lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Lakers, you have a chance to win $17. Phoenix is +450, offering a chance to win $450 on a $100 wager. The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Los Angeles a 85.71% chance to win, with the Suns at 18.18%.
Lakers vs Suns Previous Game (Mar 22, 2023)
A lot is riding on this game for the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers NBA odds and positioning. The Suns are solidly in the playoffs but only a game up from dropping out of the top four. The Lakers are in 11th, in the thick of a heated Play-In battle, one game from being seventh.
But the biggest NBA news might be that Kevin Durant and LeBron James will miss another game against each other, having not met on the court since 2018. They will both be dealing with injuries when the Suns play the Lakers on Wednesday.