It wasn’t the start the Los Angeles Lakers were hoping for, but the same goes for the Phoenix Suns.
The teams meet on Friday in the second game of the season for both. The Lakers lost to Golden State in their opening game, and the Suns looked flat against the Denver Nuggets.
NBA betting lines can’t split them, so we’re expecting a tight tussle at Staples Center.
Pressure on Lakers
We don’t like to make drastic judgments after one game, but this is the Lakers we’re talking about.
After his first-game effort with Los Angeles, Russell Westbrook will be questioning why he left the cozy confines of Washington. It was a dreadful effort, but we don’t put the blame on Westbrook as the coaching staff needs to use him differently.
He’s not a good shooter. We all know that. Westbrook is an excellent drive and dish guy, but with Anthony Davis and LeBron James clogging the paint, he doesn’t have much room to move.
However, Westbrook is a former MVP who has adjusted to new structures in the past. We think he’ll end up enjoying the bright lights of Los Angeles, so expect a much better effort against the Suns.
— NBA (@NBA) October 21, 2021
Westbrook should get more room to move and the Suns don’t have a big that can handle his speed. Coach Frank Vogel believes getting Westbrook involved is an easy fix.
“(Westbrook played) pretty good,” Vogel told ESPN. “We didn’t get him involved enough, and that’s on me. We continue to look at situations to make him useful and not pull away from what (Anthony Davis) and (LeBron James) are doing.
“Those guys obviously got going, but I didn’t do a good enough job getting Russ going, and that’s an easy fix. Something that we’re familiar with and keep looking at every day and get a little more comfortable with it.”
Losing the opening two games won’t sit well with Lakers fans. The pressure is on to perform, but we’re loving the odds available with the sportsbook. They are -1 to win, and those odds could shorten.
Suns Seeking Bounce Back
The Lakers had problems in their season opener, but the Suns were more glaringly disappointing.
Losing at home to the Nuggets isn’t the way they wanted to start, so they’ll need to iron out the issues to have a chance against the current NBA championship favorites.
Devin Booker had only 12 points, and although he usually takes a few games to find his rhythm, there are already calls of the Suns missing the playoffs. It’s too early to make that judgment, but the first impression wasn’t good.
Our newest decor.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) October 21, 2021
We worry about how they match up against the Lakers. Booker will get open shots, but Deandre Ayton could find it tough to get open looks in the paint and Chris Paul’s lack of size, especially if he’s guarded by Westbrook, will be an issue.
We are surprised bookmakers have the Suns at -110 to win on the road. That’s a short price against a team that has the size advantage, but the market confidence can provide bettors with a good guide.
Suns vs Lakers Betting Trends
The Suns are 0-5 against the spread in their last five games and 0-4 ATS when allowing more than 100 points in their previous game.
However, they are 12-2 ATS in their last 14 Friday games, so they love entering the weekend with a win under the belt.
The Lakers are 7-1 in their last eight Friday games, but with a record of only 1-5 ATS in their last six home games, there is cause for concern.
Suns vs Lakers Pick
Our NBA betting preview concludes that the Lakers will get off the mark and beat the Suns.
Phoenix has strong open shooters, but the Lakers’ size should prove too much for the Suns to handle. Getting points in the paint won’t be easy and we’re expecting a much better effort from Westbrook.
If he can score 20-plus points, we expect the Lakers to score a comfortable victory. We’re happy to take the odds available, which is a generous price.