Game: Philadelphia 76ers @ Los Angeles Lakers
Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
Odds: 76ers -8, Lakers +8
Philadelphia C Joel Embiid is likely to make a statement tonight. He is second in the NBA scoring race averaging 29.8 points per game. The man ahead of him is the Lakers LeBron James who is averaging 30 a game. Embiid and his teammate James Harden both had Monday night off and the Sixers still managed to beat the Miami Heat. A rested Embiid will be difficult for L.A. to stop especially with Anthony Davis out of the lineup.
While Embiid and Harden (22.4 ppg) are filling it up, teams often forget about Tyrese Maxey who had 28 points in the win over the Heat on Monday. Maxey has been outstanding in his second NBA season. The Lakers, one of the NBA’s best defensive teams a year ago, now rank 26th in points allowed per game, 114.1. They also allow the fourth-most points in the paint giving up 51 per game. That should suit Embiid just fine.
The answer for the Lakers will have to come from James who is averaging 37.3 points a game over his last three. In those three games, James is shooting a ridiculous 57.1 percent from the field. Over his last nine games, his average is 35.7 per game. It’s a remarkable accomplishment considering this is James’ 19th season in the NBA and he is 37 years old.
James is really the only positive for the Lakers right now. They are currently in ninth place in the Western Conference standings. Russell Westbrook has been mediocre averaging 18.1 points a game. Talen Horton-Tucker and Malik Monk can heat up from time to time, but James is the only consistent scoring threat. This will be a difficult matchup for the Lakers too as the Sixers defend the three-pointer well. They allow the third-fewest made three-pointers in the NBA.
Philly is now 10-4 SU in its last 14 games. They are 6-1 SU in their last seven games against the Lakers. The Sixers have also covered in six of those seven games with L.A and they are 4-1 ATS in the last five games played in Los Angeles.
For the Lakers, it’s a completely different story. They are just 5-13 SU in their last 18 games. Over the last 14 games, L.A. is 4-10 ATS and they are 1-4 ATS in their last five. Philly won the first meeting of the season back in January at home. The Sixers won by 18 and covered easily.
The Lakers trend Over with six of the last eight-game totals going Over. For the season, L.A.’s O/U record is 41-31. The Lakers play at the second-fastest pace in the NBA. The Sixers, on the other hand, play at the third-slowest pace in the league. Don’t forget, the 76ers rank in the top 10 in defensive rating. Two of their last three games have gone Under and the Sixers have an O/U record of 31-38-2 for the season.