Last night did not end in a fun way, but the Los Angeles Lakers will not have time to dwell on the game-winning shot from Tobias Harris and the Philadelphia 76ers. They’ll have to get game-ready again for tonight’s contest against Jerami Grant, Blake Griffin, and the Detroit Pistons. Thankfully, this “test” pales in comparison to the test of the 76ers, as the Pistons are one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference — if not the entire league. They come into this game with a 4-14 record (3-7 in their last 10 games) and the 24th rated Net Rating in the league (-3.6 compared to the Lakers’ 1st-ranked 9.2) as this should be a good game for the Lakers to use as a rebound to get back on the right track in this road trip.
The Lakers will most likely be without Jared Dudley and Kostas Antetokounmpo tonight as they have been for the past few games, but other than that there shouldn’t be any absences for the Lakers. However, they are on the second night of a back-to-back, with a possible LeBron James or Anthony Davis rest night looming. LeBron was “questionable” with his ankle sprain heading into yesterday’s game while Davis was only “probable”. We might see a night off for LeBron after a few very productive games in a row (pure speculation).
The Detroit Pistons rested Blake Griffin in their game last night against the Cavs, but he will probably play tonight. Everyone else should be good to go for the Pistons, other than their promising rookie Killian Hayes. The 7th overall pick will continue to be out with a hip injury that will keep him sidelined for a total of eight weeks.
Lakers -9.5; O/U 215; Moneyline -455
After last night’s game, my colleague Kyle Hartwick is now 7-4 on his picks on game previews for the season. He went 2-2 in the 76ers game, missing on the over of 220 and Anthony Davis over on points at 23.5 (only scored 23). He hit on Danny Green’s revenge game as well as the 76ers +3.5, but that’s just cause he hates the Lakers.
For this game, I’m going to actually back the Lakers spread at -9.5 although I do not feel great about it. The Lakers had favored spreads over 10 points against the Bulls and Cavs in recent games, covering against the Bulls but not the Cavs (and despite a 30-point halftime lead the Lakers -10.5 spread barely paid off in the end). Still, the Bulls and Cavs may only have a few more wins than the Pistons but they are still much more talented than this Pistons roster. Mix in the fact that the Lakers will be looking to avenge last night’s disappointing ending, and I’m expecting a big Lakers’ win much more than a close game. However, the Pistons are 9-8-1 against the spread despite their 4-14 record. That makes the over on Anthony Davis’ points total my most confident pick for the night (riding it again after Kyle missed out on it last night). Odds are not currently listed for it, but I’d take the over on any line of 25.5 or less. LeBron has been the better scorer lately, but as LeBron may face the likes of Jerami Grant of a sizable amount of time, I’m more willing to bet on AD as he will likely be going against the likes of Mason Plumlee, Isaiah Stewart, and Blake Griffin. Shaquille O’Neal would call them “barbecue chicken” in front of AD, so once AD’s points are listed go ahead and take those. It also helps that he dropped this quote last night.
AD also said he feels fine physically and noted there's a long season ahead (coming off a short offseason).
Finished by saying, "You'll see tomorrow." https://t.co/PVY1113Gah
— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) January 28, 2021
As for the over/under, the Pistons and Lakers are both in the bottom half in terms of pace, so the low total of 215 is probably pretty accurate. However, I’m expecting a high-scoring game for the Lakers and overs have hit in 11 of the Pistons’ 18 games (including four of the last five) so I’ll be taking the over.
All odds/spreads listed from DraftKings Sportsbook as of 9:30 a.m. PST.
Where to watch
The game will not be nationally televised, a rare — but expected occurrence when facing the Pistons. You’ll still be able to see the Lakers on Spectrum SportsNet with another early tip-off at 5:00 p.m. PST.
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