The Los Angeles Lakers (8-15) will look to break a five-game losing streak when they visit the Philadelphia 76ers (13-10) on Thursday as big road underdogs at the sportsbooks.
The 76ers won the first meeting between the teams on November 16 behind a career-high 46 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and seven blocks from center Joel Embiid.
Point spread: The Sixers opened as nine-point favorites; the total is at 221, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
Why the Lakers can cover the spread
It is hard to say the Lakers have improved since the last game between the two teams, going 2-6 in their previous eight games, including their current five-game skid.
But rookie Lonzo Ball cannot play much worse than he did in that initial matchup for Los Angeles, as he scored only two points on 1-of-9 shooting from the field and missed all six of his three-point attempts.
Ball has gone two straight games without scoring in double figures, and he should be motivated to bounce back here.
Why the 76ers can cover the spread
Philadelphia has looked like the real deal early on in terms of being a worthy young playoff contender—something the team's opponent is certainly striving for as well. But the 76ers clearly have more talent at this point with Embiid and Rookie of the Year favorite Ben Simmons leading the way.
Simmons had 18 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in the first meeting with the Lakers, and his extremely well-rounded game is what has made him the favorite to win the award.
Philadelphia has now won two in a row over Los Angeles both straight up and against the spread, after losing five of the previous six meetings both SU and ATS.
Smart betting pick
These are two of the most talked about young teams in the league, which is why they are being featured in a prime-time national television game right now.
They also do not play much defense, although the total on this game is much too high. The under has cashed in two straight games for the Lakers, along with three in a row for the 76ers.
While the over is 2-0 in the past two meetings, the under was 6-1 in the previous seven games between the teams. Take a shot on the under with the public thinking over.
NBA betting trends
Los Angeles is 1-4 ATS in its last five games.
Los Angeles is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games on the road.
Philadelphia is 14-6 ATS in its last 20 games.
All NBA odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.