Back Phoenix vs. Lakers for NBA Picks

Darin Zank

Sunday, March 30, 2014 12:52 PM GMT

The Phoenix Suns have gotten hot at a good time, as they try to secure a playoff berth. Phoenix goes looking for a seventh straight victory when it invades Staples Center to take on the lost LA Lakers Sunday night (9:30 pm ET).

The Line
As of early Sunday AM this game had not been lined, probably because of the injury situations with the Lakers.

Let's take a look at the top NBA Futures Betting Lines

The Situation
Phoenix has won six games in a row, after beating New York Friday night 112-88. That game was tied at 22 early, before the Suns began to run away. Phoenix shot 46 percent from the floor on the night, held New York to 40 percent shooting and easily covered the spread as six-point favorites.

In fact, the Suns have covered the spread four games in a row. 

So the Suns, at 44-29, are in seventh place in the West, a game and a half behind sixth-place Golden State, but also just a half-game ahead of both Memphis and Dallas.

The Lakers, meanwhile, at 24-48, are just trying to avoid further embarrassment. They've lost nine of their last 12 games, after getting bombed by Minnesota Friday night 143-107. LA, which has basically forgotten how to play defense, allowed the Timberwolves to shoot a ridiculous 67 percent from the field, the best shooting performance by an offense in the NBA this season.

The Lakers trailed at one point Friday night by 41 points, and failed to cover as 11-point dogs.


Suns-Lakers Recent History
When looking at the recent history between these two teams we're only going back to the start of this season, because before that these were two very different teams. 

Phoenix has taken the first three games of this season series this year, by scores of 114-108, 117-90 and 121-114. The Suns shot a combined 49 percent from the field in those three games, while the Lakers shot 45 percent.

Also, two of those three games played OVER on the totals.


Suns-Lakers By the Numbers
Phoenix is shooting 46 percent from the field this season, and 38 percent from 3-point range, while allowing opponents to shoot 45 percent. 

Los Angeles is shooting 45 percent from the floor and 38 percent from the line, but is allowing foes to shoot almost 47 percent. Also, LA is the worst rebounding team in the league, at -7.7 boards per game. To us that's a clear sign of lack of effort.


Suns-Lakers Betting Trends
Phoenix has been the best team in the league to bet on this season, going 48-24 ATS overall, 26-9 ATS on the road. 

LA is 17-17 ATS at home.

Phoenix is 36-34 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as Suns games have averaged 208 total points.

LA is 42-30 on the totals, as Lakers games have averaged a league-high 211 points.


Suns-Lakers Injury Update
LA is without Kobe, Xavier Henry (10 PPG), Jordan Farmar (10 PPG) and Pau Gasol (17 PPG, 10 RPG), as they all deal with various ailments. Also, while Steve Nash has played a couple of games recently, he's nowhere near his former self. 

For Phoenix, G Goran Dragic (21 PPG) took some stitches above the eye Friday night, but is expected to play Sunday. Also, the Suns are 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS since getting G Eric Bledsoe back from a knee injury.


Suns-Lakers Free Pick
We're not going to think too hard on this one; Phoenix is playing for its playoff life, while LA, well, we're not sure what they're playing for. We'd say pride, but at this point we're not sure they've got any. So while the Suns might be favored by double-digits when the line comes out we'll still go with Phoenix for our free NBA pick for Sunday.

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