The final game of Tuesday is the back half of a TNT doubleheader between the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers. Tip-off is 10 p.m. ET. The Lakers are the slight favorites here per NBA odds, which we can find on the BetUS online sportsbook.
I am going the other way and taking Phoenix to pull the upset. The Suns have been a tremendously profitable team for online sports betting while the Lakers have been a disappointing team.
The odds favor the Lakers because they are better defensively and have LeBron James. But Phoenix has been playing better recently as we’ll soon uncover.
Suns vs Lakers Betting Preview
Suns: A New Western Power
Chris Paul may be the NBA’s most underrated player. The future Hall of Famer makes every team he’s on better. He has never missed the playoffs since his sophomore season and is fourth in career PER among active players.
Phoenix has improved on its true shooting percent and decreases its turnovers from last season. They’re fourth in the NBA in assists and turnovers, fifth in field goal percentage, and 10th in 3-point percentage. Overall, this team is humming.
Outside of Paul, G Devin Booker is also the “most disrespected player in the league.” Despite putting up 25.5 points on 50% shooting, the 24-year-old was left out of the All-Star team again. He has been added with Anthony Davis being injured.
On defense, the Suns rank fourth and their +5.9 net rating is third. F Mikal Bridges has also blossomed into a talented two-way player under the tutelage of Paul and fellow veteran F Jae Crowder. The Suns have finally risen.
Lakers: On His Mighty Shoulders
He isn’t the greatest basketball player, perhaps athlete, of his time. The 36-year-old James is leading the Lakers again with Davis out.
James and the Lakers have started to feel Davis’s absence. They’re 3-4 during this span. While they maintained a top-rated defense, their offense plummeted to 25th. The Lakers are having issues shooting the ball consistently.
In their last seven games, their 54.6 TS% is 25th in the league while their 1.41 assist-to-turnover ratio is second-worst. Outside of James and G Dennis Schroder, the Lakers are lacking capable playmakers or players who can create their own shot.
James will continue carrying the team like he’s done for most of his career. But the likes of F Kyle Kuzma, F Montrezl Harrell, and G Alex Caruso will have to step up, especially against the cream of the crop.
Betting Preview: Paul versus James, Part 28
In this 28th edition of Paul versus James, go with Paul and the Suns as your NBA betting pick. James leads the series 15-12 so it’s been pretty even between players who have done the heavy lifting for their respective teams.
But right now, Paul has more in his way of support. He has a secondary star and an offensive dynamo in Booker. James has none without Davis. Paul’s Suns are playing elite defense much like James’s Lakers.
Statistically, however, there is no contest between the two. The Suns are just playing at a higher level on offense – facilitating better ball movement, hitting their long-ranged jumpers, and limiting turnovers.
As of writing this article, the Suns are still underdogs but the public may be moving in on them. Grab them quickly while you can still get them at plus money.
Pick: Phoenix Suns to win