NBA Pick: Lakers -1 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
- Lakers -1 (-110)
- Anthony Davis Under 42.5 Points + Rebounds Combo (-120)
The Los Angeles Lakers have been playing quite well without the injured LeBron James and look to keep it going Friday when the Toronto Raptors visit.
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Toronto Raptors vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Friday, March 10, 2023 – 10:30 PM EST at Crypto.com Arena
NBA TV has a doubleheader on Friday night and the nightcap is Raptors at Lakers, with the early game featuring Cleveland at Miami – we also have a preview of that here at BMR.
When I looked this up, I was pretty surprised: Toronto has won seven straight on the road on the NBA picks against the Lakers … but also enters on a one-game skid at Crypto.com Arena after losing there to the Clippers on Wednesday.
The Raptors look for a season sweep of the Lakers as on Dec. 7 in Toronto, the Dinos were 12.5-point favorites and won 126-113. LA missed two shots in the final seconds for a backdoor cover.
Take little from that meeting as the Lakers were without both Anthony Davis and LeBron James and still had a bunch of pieces that didn’t fit like Kendrick Nunn, Thomas Bryant, and Russell Westbrook. They are all elsewhere now. Toronto got 25 points each from Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet.
Raptors Concluding Trip
Generally wise to fade a team at the end of a long road trip and this is the end of a five-game cross-country venture for the Raptors, who are 1-3 on it after a 108-100 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday as Toronto has now lost back-to-back games for the first time since Feb. 1. The Clips had a season-high 14 dunks along with a 60-42 advantage in the paint and a 20-10 edge in fast-break points.
“I think from in the paint in we didn’t finish good enough,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse said.
Pascal Siakam had 20 points, six rebounds, and five assists, and Scottie Barnes had 20 points but on 6-for-21 shooting. It was the All-Star Siakam’s 27th game this season with at least 20/5/5, tied for fourth-most in the league.
Barnes has now scored 20 or more points in 15 games this season; he did it 17 times last season when he was named Rookie of the Year. Barnes also has scored at least 10 points in a career-best 18 straight games.
VanVleet Explodes After Loss
However, all that anyone will remember from Wednesday’s game is what happened afterward from Fred VanVleet, who was solid with 13 points and nine assists. He ripped into official Ben Taylor in the post-game press conference in a fashion really never heard before in the Association.
“I don’t mind, I’ll take a fine, I don’t really care,” VanVleet said. “I thought Ben Taylor was f—ing terrible tonight. I think that on most nights, you know out of the three [officials], there’s one or two that just f— the game up. It’s been like that a couple of games in a row. … Most of the refs are trying hard. I like a lot of the refs, they’re trying hard, they’re pretty fair, and communicate well. And then you got the other ones who just want to be d—s and just kind of f— the game up. And no one’s coming to see that s—. They come to see the players.”
VanVleet was particularly upset with a technical he got with 7:02 in the third. I watched that game and it was pretty ticky-tacky. The Raptors were called for 23 fouls overall to the Clippers’ 18, but LA had 31 free throw attempts compared with 14 for Toronto. VanVleet is going to get a massive fine for what he said, and it’s not going to endear him to any other referees going forward. Too bad you can’t bet on over-under fouls called on a player.
- The Raptors are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 road games.
- The Raptors are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Friday games.
Russell Will Return For the Lakers
Are the Lakers better without the NBA’s all-time scoring king LeBron James? Of course, they are not, but LA improved to 3-2 without LeBron (his latest injury) with a 112-103 win over Memphis on Tuesday.
Anthony Davis is a Top 10 player in the league when engaged and healthy and he’s freaking dominating right now. AD had 32 points and a season-high 22 rebounds against the Grizzlies and is averaging 35.7 points and 11.7 rebounds in three March games.
Davis is the first Lakers player with multiple 30+ point, 20+ rebound games in a single season since Shaquille O’Neal (2003-2004). AD is as probable Friday but disregard that. He always is.
Trade acquisition Rui Hachimura has been a terrific pickup and had 17 points and six rebounds with a plus-22 rating in 28 minutes off the bench vs. the Grizzlies.
LA Mixing Up Lineup
The bench is where guard Dennis Schroder will go Friday as he will return to a reserve role with another trade pickup, D’Angelo Russell, set to return from a six-game injury absence. I’m not really sure why first-year coach Darvin Ham is messing with something that’s working with Schroder starting – he had 17 points, nine assists, and six rebounds vs. Memphis.
“I know starting is a big deal to a lot of people, but at the end of the day, finishing lineup is probably a little bit more important and Dennis will definitely be in the mix,” Ham said of Schroder. The coach added Russell will be “pretty much a full go” when asked if there would be any restrictions on his playing time. Russell has averaged 13.5 points and 5.0 assists in four games for LA.
The Lakers will be down one reserve for the rest of the regular season in 7-footer Mo Bamba. He missed the Memphis game with a sprained ankle and will be re-evaluated in approximately four weeks. Since arriving in Los Angeles in a trade-deadline deal with the Magic, Bamba had been an inconsistent member of Ham’s rotation, so it’s not a huge loss as long as Davis stays healthy/out of foul trouble.
Toronto has the better starting five, but the Raptors might be on fumes at the end of a trip and they aren’t as deep as the Lakers. We are going under a monster combo total on Davis simply as he could have a great night of 27 points and 15 rebounds and he’d land under at the current NBA odds. Always potential for foul trouble or an injury as well.
- The Lakers are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games vs. a team with a losing straight-up record.
- The Lakers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
- The Lakers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
NBA Pick: Anthony Davis – Under 42.5 Points + Rebounds Combo (-120) at BetOnline
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