Lakers Bottom Out
Our NBA betting preview takes a look at the Washington Wizards’ trip to Crypto Arena to take on the laboring Los Angeles Lakers.
Things seemingly keep going from bad to worse for the Lakers, who were humbled in embarrassed fashion at Houston last time out. They were beaten 139-130 in OT by Houston, the worst team in the Western Conference. The online sports betting books continue to value the Lakers, however, as they open up as four-point favorites in this matchup.
Let’s check the latest news, stats, injury reports, and NBA odds for Wizards vs Lakers. We’ve plenty of predictions for you to consider.
Time Ticking on Lakers’ Season
It would’ve taken a brave man to predict that the Lakers would be sitting ninth in the West and nine games under .500 heading into the final month of the regular season, but here we are.
As the team continues to find ways to reach new lows, the question now turns to whether LeBron James cares enough to will this version of the Lakers into a playoff spot.
Since returning from the All-Star break, the Lakers have gone 1-6 straight up, with an equally dismal 1-5-1 ATS record to match. Reaching the playoffs from here will require navigating the play-in tournament, and the pressure now turns to whether they can secure home court and a top-eight seed.
The Lakers are a respectable 19-16 on their home floor but are a horrific 9-21 on the road.
Despite their winning record at home they are still one of the worst performing ATS teams in the NBA when playing in front of their fans. Los Angeles is 10-17 ATS as a home favorite, which is the second-worst win percentage for home favorites in the NBA.
That said, the team is in a favorable spot against an opponent that won’t be playing playoff basketball in 2022. This serves as one of the few remaining games where Los Angeles will face a team that is under .500, so if there was ever a time for LeBron James to motivate his team to show up, this is the one.
Wizards Still Capable of Ruffling Feathers
Washington has found itself in limbo and is finishing the season neither competing for a playoff spot nor in a position to secure a high-end lottery pick.
While the team mathematically still a chance at competing for one of the play-in spots in the Eastern Conference, the Wizards are unlikely to leapfrog either of the teams above them.
The acquisition of Kristaps Porzingis has undoubtedly been a fun addition for fans, but it’s certainly not enough to necessarily move the needle that will propel Washington to a top-10 team spot in the East.
That said, there’s certainly still enough talent on the roster to keep the Wizards competitive in games and you could argue that their starting lineup is better balanced than the one that the Lakers will trot out.
Kyle Kuzma will certainly be motivated to show up against his former team, especially when you consider how he was cast off as part of the deal to bring Russell Westbrook to LA.
The Wizards will certainly need him to be at his best given how the team has fared against Western Conference opposition . They are just 5-16 ATS against non-conference opponents, which is the worst percentage in the NBA for teams in non-conference matchups.
Wizards vs Lakers Head-to-Head
This is the first meeting between the teams this season.
Last season, the Wizards won both meetings, including a 127-104 OT win in LA. That was their first win in LA against the Lakers since 2017.
Wizards vs Lakers Game Information
- Game: Washington Wizards (29-35) at LA Lakers (28-37)
- Location: Crypto Arena, Los Angeles
- Day/Time: Friday, 10:30 p.m. ET
- Live Stream: ESPN
Wizards vs Lakers Betting Lines
Wizards vs Lakers Prediction
It feels like we’ve reached this point multiple times over the past month: A must-win game for the Lakers to help ignite a much-needed spark heading into the final few weeks.
The reality now is that the Lakers need to be treated as they are, not as the one everyone expects when they think of a LeBron James-led team.
The Lakers last won and covered as market favorites in the first week of February against the New York Knicks, when they also needed OT to get the job done.
I spoke earlier in the week on the BetUS NBA Live Show that this team has quit and that that attitude starts with the body language of James.
My fair price on this game is probably closer to a 2½ points so I am than comfortable betting online at any number above that.
This is one of the best NBA bets tonight and I think we get another reminder that the Lakers are a flailing mess and not a team that deserves market favoritism.