NBA Betting Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Odds, Analysis

OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2016

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, left, drives to the basket against Sacramento Kings forward Quincy Acy, center, as Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson, right, looks on during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers (14-51) can equal their longest winning streak of the season—and win their third game in a row as betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark for the first time this year—when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers (45-18) on Thursday.

When the Lakers put together their only other three-game winning streak between December 30 and January 3, one of their victories came as 2.5-point home favorites against the Philadelphia 76ers.

That obviously will not be the case this time around since Los Angeles will have faced the best team in the West, the Golden State Warriors, and the East within a five-day stretch.

The Lakers upset the defending NBA champion Warriors 112-95 on Sunday as massive 17.5-point home underdogs. They followed that up with a 107-98 victory against the Orlando Magic as four-point home dogs on Tuesday without leading scorer Kobe Bryant, who is again listed as questionable with a shoulder injury.

The Cavaliers own a 2.5-game lead over the Toronto Raptors for the top seed in the Eastern Conference following a 120-111 win over the Sacramento Kings as seven-point road favorites Wednesday.

They had suffered an embarrassing 106-103 home loss to a Memphis Grizzlies team playing without four starters as 15-point chalk in their previous game before embarking on a four-game road trip that started in Sacramento.

Cleveland has been disappointing against the spread both at home and on the road this season, improving to 12-16-2 following the victory against the Kings. The Cavs also failed to cover the only meeting with Los Angeles this season, falling short of the 16-point spread in a 120-111 home win on February 10.

They had won the previous two both straight up and ATS by an average of 11 points, according to the Odds Shark NBA Database.

The past five meetings have all been high-scoring affairs, with the over going 5-0 and the winning team averaging 117.6 points. Even the loser scored more than 100 points in each of those games, and that might be the case here considering Cleveland has given up an average of 106.7 points in its last three overall, with the over going 3-0.