Ride ‘Under’ Into Staples Center For Bucks-Lakers Matchup Friday

Thursday, February 28, 2019 11:48 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 11:48 PM UTC

The Los Angeles Lakers ratchet up the defense when they’re at home, making the "under" a tasty NBA pick for Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

<p style="text-align:right"><strong><em>Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Feb. 27:<br />15-12-1 ATS, 0-4 ML (minus-9.35 units), 18-8 Totals</em></strong></p><h2 style="text-align:center">Milwaukee (47-14 SU, 35-23-3 ATS) at L.A. Lakers (30-31 SU, 26-33-2 ATS)</h2><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Friday, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)<br />Free NBA Pick: Under<br />Best Line Offered: <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4427&amp;book=BOVADA" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">Bovada</a></strong></p><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3569919, "sportsbooksIds":[999996,19,93,1275,999991], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>Did the Los Angeles Lakers cover Wednesday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans? Maybe. We’ve seen the spread for this game listed at 5.5, 6 and 7 points for the Lakers; they came back to win 125-119. <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/nba/ad-break-take-lakers-over-visiting-pelicans/88957/">We’re calling it a push</a> here at the ranch, but we hope you got them at –5.5 or better when we recommended L.A. for your <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/nba/" title="Free NBA Picks">NBA picks</a>.<br /><br />It’s hard to tell what’s going on with the Lakers these days, but we’re happy enough to suggest the "under" for <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/milwaukee-bucks-vs-los-angeles-lakers-3569919/odds/" title="Live Game Odds">Friday’s game against the visiting Milwaukee Bucks</a>. There’s a hefty 237-point total on the <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/">NBA odds board</a> at press time, and the Bucks have the "under" at 18-13 when they play on the road this year. Even better, the "under" is 21-8-1 at Staples Center. Let’s grab a piece of that while we can.</p><p> </p><h2>Minus Men</h2><p>Even with those delicious splits, we’re only going to recommend a small bet in this situation. The Lakers aren’t the same team without Lonzo Ball (minus-0.9 OBPM, plus-1.4 DBPM), who remains out with a bone bruise in his left ankle (an update on his status was expected at some point Thursday). Lance Stephenson (minus-1.4 OPBM, minus-0.5 DBPM) is also day-to-day with a sprained toe.<br /><br />The "under" has still been the right call more often than not in La La Land. Look at all these other players and their offense/defense imbalance:<br /><br />Brandon Ingram: minus-2.3 OBPM, minus-0.5 DBPM<br />Rajon Rondo: minus-2.4 OBPM, minus-0.1 DBPM<br />Josh Hart: minus-1.7 OBPM, plus-1.1 DBPM<br />JaVale McGee: minus-1.4 OBPM, plus-2.8 DBPM<br />Tyson Chandler: minus-2.5 OBPM, plus-2.0 DBPM<br /><br />That’s a whole lot of defense and not much else. And that’s exactly what the Lakers had in mind for this season: Surround LeBron James (plus-5.8 OBPM, plus-2.0 DBPM) with grit and grind, then go for a big free agent or two this summer to make a serious run for the title. It’s just a shame that Ingram has seen his production level drop off in Year Three as a pro. Maybe he’ll do better once he gets out of L.A.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Giannis is the MVP. No questions asked. &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/iMV05dyOXV\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/iMV05dyOXV&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Ryley (@PrimetimeRyley) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/PrimetimeRyley/status/1100650059287457793?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;February 27, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>Hey, there’s another team in this matchup. The Bucks are the best defenders in the NBA, allowing 102.1 points per 100 possessions. They’re also third on offense (111.3), and both they and the Lakers run the floor pretty quickly, but that defense, tho’.</p><p>If they don’t give the MVP award to Giannis Antetokounmpo (plus-5.3 OBPM, plus-5.2 DBPM), it’ll be a crying shame – even if James Harden and Nikola Jokic are worthy contenders. Mike Budenholzer for Coach of the Year? Book it, and may the sphere be with you.</p>
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