Lakers Favorites Versus Visiting Nets Friday Night

Jay Pryce

Friday, November 3, 2017 12:45 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 3, 2017 12:45 PM UTC

The Brooklyn Nets hope to snap a 3-game skid as they begin a 5-game West Coast road trip at Staples Center versus the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night (10:30 p.m. ET). L.A. is 2.5-point chalk, laying points for the first time in 2017. 

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Free NBA Pick: Nets +2.5Best Line Offered: at Matchbook


Brooklyn Nets vs Los Angeles Lakers (-2.5)

Which team got the better bargain? The Nets and Lakers worked out one of the fairer offseason deals this past summer, each benefitting from the player transactions. L.A. sent point guard D’Angelo Russell and center Timofey Mozgov to Brooklyn for veteran big man Brooks Lopez and its 2017 first-round pick, used to draft emerging fan favorite forward Kyle Kuzma. Russell leads the Nets with 21.7 points per game, while Kuzma tops the Lakers with 15.0 per contest. Tonight, the teams face off at Staples Center to settle which acquisitions are best.

The Lakers played in Portland Thursday night, losing a heartbreaker 113-110 as 6.5-point underdogs on a Damian Lillard 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left. Rookie point guard Lonzo Ball suffered possibly the worst offensive performance of his life, netting zero points with 4 assists and 3 rebounds. It’s the only time Ball has been held scoreless through his collegiate and professional career.

Also notable in the Trail Blazers defeat is the loss of starting power forward Larry Nance Jr. who sustained a broken hand late in the third quarter. The second-year pro averages 10.6 points and 7.5 boards in 23.1 minutes through 8 games.

L.A. is now 3-5 SU on the season, playing on no rest for the third time. It went 2-1 SU and ATS last year on its home hardwood following a road tilt the night before.

Brooklyn has lost three in a row after beginning the season with a winning record for the first time since 2014. Missed assignments, poor spacing, and more have replaced convincing team-oriented play and good ball movement displayed earlier in the season. “It just seems like we lost the rhythm,” remarked head coach Kenny Atkinson after a 122-114 home loss to the Suns on Tuesday. “I really don’t have an answer as to why that’s happened.”

A West Coast road trip beginning in L.A. is a tough setting to uncover Brooklyn’s lost flow. Away trips have not been kind to the team recently. It is winless in three this year and 7-37 SU overall dating back to 2016. The issue is a leaky defense, allowing 115.7 points on 46.9 percent shooting in this span. In 44 games, just two opponents failed to hit the century mark.

Nevertheless, the Lakers might be the perfect fix-it opponent. Both teams are similar in strengths and weaknesses. Each likes to play in transition, L.A. ranking third (15.5) and Nets sixth (13.9) in fast break points per game. They also both struggle on the glass, the Lakers allowing the 26th (55.0) and Brooklyn 29th (57.2) most defensive rebounds per tilt. Second-chance points and the charity stripe will be key to victory as a result. The Nets do a better job on the offensive boards, pulling down 22.9 percent of failed shots, as opposed to 19.2 for L.A. The visitors also love the free-throw line, ranking first in the NBA with 22.4 makes per game.

The Lakers have struggled to put it all together in expected tight contests at Staples Center under head coach Luke Walton. Since taking over, L.A. is 3-7 SU and ATS with a line in-between 3 points. The NBA odds market opened L.A. chalk at 3.5 points, adjusting to 2.5 by Friday morning. Brooklyn does the little things better and gets the win at a small price. For your NBA pick, back the Nets ATS.  

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