Stars hit the stage at Madison Square Garden as the Lakers travel to New York to battle it out against the Knicks. LeBron is on a quest to surpass Kareem’s most points scored in the NBA record with the Knicks defense next on deck. He took last night off against the Brooklyn Nets as the Lakers are in the midst of a back-to-back game set. Now well rested, he will have to find a way to consistently score against the Knicks interior. Can he lead the Lakers to victory?
LA Lakers vs New York Knicks Betting Odds
Oddsmakers are torn on the Lakers chances of getting the win, opening them at a near pick’em by starting them out at +1.5. Bettors have sided with the Knicks as well, backing them up to -2 as of writing. Even when nearly at full health, the Lakers offensive struggles have shown to be a persistent problem and the Knicks defense will do them no favors. Anthony Davis will be at war in the post while LeBron will struggle to find any openings in the lane on his drives. Their perimeter play does them no favors either as they are a well below average three-point shooting unit.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a quick pace as oddsmakers opened the total at 237.5. Bettors are adamant about the under, taking it down to as low as 232 as of writing. This is a drastic difference from the opener, zapping all the value out of the number as of now. The Lakers lack a diverse scoring ability while the Knicks have also had inconsistent scoring issues as well. This was my initial thought of a wager, but sadly missed out on any and all value.
LA Lakers vs New York Knicks Prediction
The Pick: Pass for now
With that being said, this game is a pass for me as I missed out on the value of the under with steam dragging this far too low for my liking. I will monitor the line movement to see if it keeps dropping, potentially giving value to an over should it drop too low. Another route is potentially taking a live under should both units start out hot for a small wager, although circumstances would then be different from a pregame perspective and would need to see if they show signs of cooling off.
The Lakers have mightily struggled to find offensive consistency, a bane to their production all season long. While LeBron is still playing at an extremely high level for his age, he can’t keep willing the Lakers to victory as he needs his secondary scorers to step up. The return of Anthony Davis helps ease that load as one of the best big men in the league, but this matchup poses an issue for him as he lacks physicality, and the Knicks excel at guarding the interior.
As for the Knicks, consistent scoring woes have plagued them all season as well as they do not pose as a threat whatsoever from the perimeter. They have been consistently one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league, allowing opposing defenses to sag down and clog the paint. This has given them fits on offense as they rely on interior scoring production off the backs of Julius Randle on the post and Jalen Brunson on his drives.
- Lakers are 0-5 ATS in the last five meetings in New York
- Lakers are 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings overall
Can the Lakers limit the success of Jalen Brunson’s drives to the basket?
Jalen Brunson vs Lakers interior defense
Jalen Brunson is the key to the Knicks offense as his drives to the rim provide both scoring opportunities as well as hitting his shooters in open spots with his facilitating abilities.
The Lakers defense getting the benefit of sagging to the paint will be key to stopping this. If Brunson cannot shift the defense to his liking, then their offense will be poised to stall out and result in empty possessions.
Pass on this for now as the under has dipped too far for my liking.
LA Lakers Starting Lineup
New York Knicks Starting Lineups
LA Lakers Injuries: N/A
New York Knicks Injuries: N/A