Los Angeles Lakers (33-8) vs. Houston Rockets (26-14)
NBA: Saturday, January 18th, 2020 (Toyota Center)
NBA: Los Angeles Lakers (+2) vs. Houston Rockets (-2) O/U: 235
Free NBA Expert Pick: Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers’ record against teams with losing marks this season before Wednesday was both noteworthy and improbable. It stood as both a testament to their collective professionalism and a representation of a statistical anomaly likely destined for a run-in with mean regression.
In falling 119-118 to the Orlando Magic, who entered Staples Center two games under .500, the Lakers dropped to 22-1 against sub-.500 teams. They were again short-handed, playing without Anthony Davis (glutes) and Rajon Rondo (finger) before losing Alex Caruso to a concussion.
When the Lakers visit the Houston Rockets on Saturday at Toyota Center, odds are good L.A.’s roster will not be whole. Given their previous efforts, who is and who isn’t available won’t impact how the Lakers approach an opponent expected to be on par come the postseason.
The Lakers own the best record in the Western Conference despite their injury woes. Although James produced a 19-point, 19-assist effort against the Magic, it was the bench brigade paced by Quinn Cook (22 points), Troy Daniels and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (17 points apiece) that kept the Lakers in contention.
Cook and Daniels are typically spectators when the Lakers are at full strength, but even in defeat, the L.A. showed the potency of what it has in reserve.
Conversely, the Rockets offered another uninspired display against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, falling 117-107 at home to lose both games of a back-to-back for the first time this season. Houston has dropped three of its last four games.
When asked why his team appears so discombobulated on occasion, particularly defensively, Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni struggled to muster the words to fashion a legitimate excuse.
One of those veterans, James Harden, made clear that the Rockets are having ongoing dialogue related to fixing what ails them. There is an underlying assuredness that Houston will indeed get the wheels back on the track, but it isn’t folly to describe their current state as vulnerable.
Cover The Spread 365 Trends
Los Angeles Lakers
LA Lakers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games.
The total has gone OVER in 4 of LA Lakers’ last 5 games.
LA Lakers are 9-1 SU in their last 10 games.
LA Lakers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games against Houston.
LA Lakers are 1-5 SU in their last 6 games against Houston.
Houston are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games.
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Houston’s last 6 games.
Houston are 13-7 SU in their last 20 games.
The total has gone OVER in 10 of Houston’s last 13 games against LA Lakers.
Houston are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games at home.
Free Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets NBA Prediction
Los Angeles Lakers lost at home to Orlando Magic. I expect the Lakers to show up and play well. The team has been up and down. Houston Rockets has been up and down as well on defense. The game will high scoring but the Los Angeles Lakers will find a way to win.