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LeBron returns: Betting Preview (LAL vs Knicks)

LeBron returns: Betting Preview (LAL vs Knicks)


Dave Carney 5/11/2021      

What’s on the table today?: Betting Preview: Lakers (-5 ) vs Knicks  / Total 213 ½ 

It’s been nine days since Lebron James last suited up for the Lakers after missing an entire month due to a high ankle sprain. The Lakers desperately need King James back in the lineup, even with Anthony Davis now back and healthy, as the Lakers are currently in the 7th spot in the NBA’s Western Conference, assuring them of nothing except a CHANCE to be in the actual playoffs IF they win the play-in-games.

Anthony Davis did step up big against the Suns in the Lakers win Sunday, 123-110, with Davis going for 42 points, but the Lakers are just 3-7 over their last 10 games, averaging 105.5 points, 42 rebounds, 24 assists, 7.8 steals and 6.1 blocks per game while shooting 45.5% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 109.6 points on 48.0% shooting. This team NEEDS Lebron James back in a big way.

The Knicks are coming off of a very solid 106-100 win over the Clippers on Sunday, another sign that this team under Tom Thibodeau are really headed in the right direction. Derrick Rose came off the bench to score 25 points and added six rebounds and eight assists to lead the Knicks to a 106-100 victory over the Clippers. Rose hit 11 of 17 shots. Reggie Bullock added 24 points on eight of 17 shooting, including five of 12 from the three-point range. New York shot 46.7% overall, including 40.6% from the three-point range.

After years of abject futility and humility for the Knicks and their fans, New York has been a revelation this season with a record of 38-30, good for 4th in the NBA’s Eastern Conference this season. 

How these two teams will match up with each other this evening should be fascinating and the spread, Lakers (-5) a little rich for my blood. As a matter of fact, the Knicks have been so good recently they’ve covered the number in 8 of their last 10 games as a road underdog (which they are tonight +5), 8 of their last 10 versus a team with a winning home record (the Lakers are with a record of 19-15), and 12 of their last 15 road games overall. I am not going to be against these kinds of trends.

What am I looking for tonight? Another play on the TOTAL with tonight’s line being set at 213 ½. Compared to some of our recent games featured in this space, that is a VERY low number. 

My initial inclination is to take this game UNDER the total of 213 ½, however, looking at some of the recent trends, especially for the Knicks, and I see that the OVER 213 ½ is actually the smarter play. Consider a few of these recent trends for the Knicks and Lakers going OVER the total from Covers.com:

  • Over is 5-1 in Knicks last 6 games following a ATS win. (NY beat LAC 106-100 Sunday covering the spread)
  • Over is 5-1 in Knicks last 6 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game. (Lakers gave up 110 to the Suns in their win on Sunday)
  • Over is 5-1 in Knicks last 6 games following a straight up win. (NY won straight up vs LAC on Sunday 106-100)
  • Over is 9-2 in Knicks last 11 games as an underdog. (NY is the dog tonight at +5)
  • Over is 5-1-1 in Lakers last 7 games following a ATS win. (LAL beat the SUNS 123-110 Sunday good for an ATS win)

These trends combined with the recent hot-shooting of Derrick Rose and Reggie Bullock for the Knicks, Julius Randle playing for the 2nd consecutive game in his old arena (Staples Center) and the fact that the Lakers haven’t had Lebron and AD on the court at the same time for what seems like forever, makes me think this one goes OVER the total of 213 ½, but just barely.

Should this game fall UNDER the number due to poor shooting, or great defense from both teams, I wouldn’t be surprised. However, the OVER has come in for us in each of our last 3 columns, and I like the way the trends are pointing for tonight’s game.

**For more info on TOTAL plays, OVER/UNDER, and PLUS/MINUS plays, TEASER cards and more, check back through some previous columns for detailed information**

REMEMBER – don’t bet based upon my recommendations. Do your research. Stay in your lane

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