Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers Preview (12/9/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

In a battle between elite big men, the Los Angeles Lakers (10-14) face the Philadelphia 76ers (12-12) Friday night. LeBron James and Anthony Davis will suit up for the Lakers, while Tyrese Maxey and Georges Niang remain out for the 76ers. De’Anthony Melton and Danuel House Jr are questionable, but it would be a boon if both can play.

Can the Lakers break their four-game ATS losing streak against the 76ers? Odds, predictions, key matchups, and starting lineups are below.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers Betting Odds

The spread initially rolled out at -3 76ers, but it’s slightly jumped to -4.5 76ers now. Their moneyline can be found at an unappealing -188. Los Angeles’ moneyline sits at +165, so they must win 38% of the time to be profitable long-term. The 228 over under is in the middle of the pack for Friday games.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers Prediction

I took the 76ers at -3 last night, but I would still play them at the current -4.5 line. Anything beyond -5 76ers doesn’t offer enough inherent value for me to bet.

The Lakers (22nd OR, 14th DR) and 76ers (18th OR, 4th DR) have both been subpar offensively, but their defenses appear to be sturdy. However, the chart below displays opponent shooting on open+wide open attempts, which sheds light on the actual productivity of their defenses.

Lakers 76ers Opponent Shooting Luck

As you can see, Philadelphia and Los Angeles are extremely lucky in terms of opponent shooting efficiency – they shoot below a 42 FG% and 35 3PT% on open+wide open shots. Now, while it assuredly inflates their defensive points per possession success, it’s not a huge deal if they are creating far more open attempts for themselves. The chart below contains shot quality by displaying net open+wide open 3PA and net open+wide open 2PA per 100 possessions. For example, a team with a net 5.4 3PA takes 5.4 more open+wide open 3PA per 100 possessions than their opponent.

Lakers 76ers Shot Quality

Philadelphia has been more successful for net 2PA and even for net 3PA, while Los Angeles is negative in both areas. Although the difference isn’t massive, the vast shooting efficiency difference will completely spotlight it and enhance the significance. The Lakers rank 30th in 3PT% at a dreadful 31.7%, while the 76ers are 6th at 37.6%. Considering Philadelphia will derive more open opportunities and convert at a high rate, Los Angeles may be swept away by a barrage of three-pointers via Harden, Harris, Melton, and Milton.

On a more granular level, the Lakers offense ranks 1st in roll man efficiency, 10th in cut efficiency, and 1st in transition frequency. Through these play types, Los Angeles compensates for their poor shooting and pick and roll ball handler skills. However, the 76ers are well-suited towards limiting the Lakers success here and neutralizing their offensive strengths.

Philadelphia is 28th in pace, so they will slow the game down and attempt to slash transition opportunities by crashing the offensive boards. They are 8th in roll man defense because of Embiid’s excellent size and instincts, so look for Davis to not enjoy his usual success. PJ Tucker is also a physical, smart defender who can handle LeBron’s strength and force him into a jump-shooting game plan, which is a win for the 76ers. It should be noted that cutters have shredded Philadelphia all season, so that is an area Los Angeles likely targets.

On an individual level, the 76ers are more talented on both ends of the court. Harden/Embiid essentially cancel out LeBron/Davis, and the remainder of the roster favors Philadelphia. Overall, it’s certainly difficult to go against the level Davis is playing at right now. However, I’m backing the 76ers due to superior shot quality, more efficient shooting, and they can limit the Lakers offensive strengths. It’s also a home game for Philadelphia, and recent ATS history is on their side versus Los Angeles.

Betting Trends

  • 76ers are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 home games
  • Lakers are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games following a ATS loss
  • Lakers are 0-4 ATS in the last 4 meetings in Philadelphia
  • Lakers are 2-6 ATS in the last 8 meetings

Key Matchups

Which team will win the positional matchups? Check out below for these vital battles.

MVP Davis

Davis recorded 44 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists last Friday; he followed that up with a monster 55-point, 17-rebound performance on Sunday. Injuries unfortunately struck Davis again, as he left the Cavaliers contest on Tuesday. For the Lakers to win this matchup, it’s essential that Davis returns to his previous form and dominates Embiid on both ends of the court. If Davis is hampered by injury in any way and subsequently diminished, then the 76ers may pull away from the Lakers by double digits.

Russell Westbrook

While Westbrook’s counting stats have been good, his plus minus impact and lacking shooting efficiency tell a different story. If the Lakers are going to win this game, it is crucial that they clinch the bench matchup and provide the starting lineup an advantage. That begins and ends with Westbrook not only facilitating but scoring at an efficient rate. Should Westbrook produce, Los Angeles’ cover odds dramatically improve.

Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup

PG: Dennis Schroder
SG: Patrick Beverley
SF: Lonnie Walker IV
PF: LeBron James
C: Anthony Davis

Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineups

PG: James Harden
SG: De’Anthony Melton
SF: Tobias Harris
PF: PJ Tucker
C: Joel Embiid

Key Injuries

Los Angeles Lakers Injuries: LeBron James (P), Anthony Davis (P), Juan Toscano-Anderson (O), Wenyen Gabriel (O), Cole Swider (Q)

Philadelphia 76ers Injuries: Tyrese Maxey (O), De’Anthony Melton (Q), Danuel House Jr (Q), Georges Niang (O)

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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