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LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during the game against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images via AFP.
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during the game against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images via AFP.

LeBron James heads to the Mecca for a Tuesday night showdown. Our Lakers vs. Knicks NBA picks are based on the best NBA odds.

The Los Angeles Lakers lost a heartbreaker to the Boston Celtics on Saturday, sparking plenty of drama around the no-call on Jayson Tatum’s foul on LeBron James in the final seconds of regulation. Los Angeles sat Anthony Davis in Monday’s matchup with the Brooklyn Nets as a planned rest day for the first half of a back-to-back set, and AD is expected to play. LeBron James sat that one out as well, and while he’s dealing with “significant soreness” in his left foot, he’ll be good to go. LeBron’s status is crucial to making an informed wager on this game, as evidenced below:

The New York Knicks are fresh off a seven-point loss to the cross-town rival Nets on Saturday, but New York has gotten a couple of rest days ahead of Tuesday’s home matchup at Madison Square Garden. Other than Mitchell Robinson (out indefinitely), the Knicks’ roster is healthy.

Here is our best Lakers vs. Knicks NBA pick (odds via BetMGM; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

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Lakers vs. Knicks game info

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Lakers vs. Knicks odds

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Lakers vs. Knicks odds analysis

The spread opened at Knicks -3, but it’s come down to -2 or -1.5 depending on the book. The line movement in favor of the Lakers is due to LeBron’s availability. The Knicks are a rare team that’s better ATS on the road (17-9) than at home (9-14-2). New York is just 7-10-1 as the home favorite, 13-12-1 as the favorite overall, and 2-5 across the last seven games. Los Angeles is 9-14-1 as the road dog and 4-4 with no rest. The team is 4-2 over its last six outings. As of this writing, 63% of wagers are backing New York to cover.

The point total opened at a lofty 237.5, but it has fallen as low as 231.5 or 232.5 depending on the book. New York is 11-7 as the home favorite and 4-1 across the last five games. The Lakers have hit the Over in 14 of 24 games as the road dog, and the team sports a 2-5 record over its last seven games. Los Angeles is 13-9 against the Eastern Conference. The Under has received 55% of wagers, as bettors are expecting a low-scoring game.

Lakers vs. Knicks pick

Lakers ML (+115 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ vs. Knicks

Now that we’ve gotten confirmation on James’ status, we’re taking the Lakers to win at plus-money odds. James is 40-16 straight up against the Knicks in his career, including a 20-8 record at Madison Square Garden. To say he’s shined in the Mecca would be an understatement.

The Lakers are just 8-16 as the road dog straight up this season, while the Knicks (10-8) have one of the worst records as the home favorite. The Lakers have a 7-5 record across their last 12 games with James and Davis healthy at the same time, and three of the losses were by four points or fewer.

Los Angeles will be missing Austin Reaves, but the team will presumably have its superstar tandem, Russell Westbrook, Lonnie Walker IV, and new addition Rui Hachimura. The Lakers are desperately trying to earn a win and sneak into the playoff picture, and the fully-loaded team should be able to steal one on the road against a Knicks team that doesn’t play its best basketball at home.

Lakers vs. Knicks best odds

BetMGM (+115)

Lakers MLLakers MLLakers MLLakers MLLakers ML

The ML odds for some books are creeping down closer to negative odds as the spread moves in favor of Los Angeles. FanDuel’s odds are the shortest, while BetMGM offers the best bang for our buck at +115. This one may end up a pick ‘em before tipoff, so make sure to bet this one as soon as possible to take advantage of the favorable plus-money odds.

Lakers-Knicks pick made 01/31/2023 at 12:45 p.m. ET.

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