The Los Angeles Lakers (10-16) will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers (20-8) on Thursday in the first career meeting between Lonzo Ball and LeBron James, who will lead his team as large home favorites at the sportsbooks. The Cavaliers have won 15 of 16 following a rocky start while the Lakers wrap up a four-game road trip.
Point spread: The Cavaliers opened as 9.5-point favorites; the total is at 219, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark (line updates and matchup report).
Why the Lakers can cover the spread
A week ago, Los Angeles upset the Philadelphia 76ers as comparable underdogs to open their road trip, and the team is looking to close it out by going 3-1 straight up and against the spread. The Lakers are coming off a 113-109 overtime loss to the New York Knicks as 2.5-point dogs on Tuesday, as they had no answer for Kristaps Porzingis and his game-high 37 points.
But they still hung tough for most of that game before falling in OT. Ball had his best performance in a month at Madison Square Garden, too, with 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting (3-of-6 from three-point range), eight rebounds and six assists.
Why the Cavaliers can cover the spread
Cleveland finally looks like the team to beat in the Eastern Conference again thanks to a recent hot streak that has also translated to a 7-9 ATS mark while going 15-1 SU, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.
The Cavaliers have won the past six meetings with Los Angeles, going 3-3 ATS, and the last three at home have been decided by an average of nearly 12 points. They have no problem running with the Lakers either, as the previous eight encounters have all finished over the total.
Smart betting pick
Each team has scored more than 100 points in the past eight meetings, which is obviously a big reason the over went 8-0 in those games. But Cleveland has had at least 119 points in the last five head-to-head matchups between the teams as well and figures to keep that trend going here.
This has been a solid road trip for Los Angeles regardless of what happens, and the young team's tired legs will catch up to them. The Cavs and Lakers will run up and down the floor in another high-scoring affair that ends up over.
NBA betting trends
Los Angeles is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games on the road.
Los Angeles is 6-3 ATS in its last nine games when playing Cleveland.
Cleveland is 2-12-1 ATS in its last 15 games at home.
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.