The final game of Friday night is a West Coast meeting between the Kings and Lakers from Staples Center. While both of these teams are likely destined for the lottery, this is one of the closest spreads in the NBA odds tonight.
DeMarcus Cousins will miss tonight’s game after being suspended due to his actions in the Kings’ game against Houston three nights ago. Without him, the Kings are going to be forced to go very small in their lineup. They will start Carl Landry in Cousins’ spot, but Landry is undersized for a power forward, let alone a center. Even though the Lakers are not big down low either, Pau Gasol is going to have little to no resistance tonight playing against the Kings without Cousins.
This is going to force Rudy Gay and Isaiah Thomas to play big minutes and take over the offense, because the Kings have little else on the offensive end outside of Cousins and those two above. The Lakers likely won’t put up much resistance either on the defensive end, and that is why I think this could be a very high scoring game.
The total of 211 ½ is pretty sharp, however I see the over having great value without Cousins on the floor for the Kings. Sacramento will be forced to play a much fast pace of game tonight without their big man, and with no one to give them easy buckets in the paint, the Kings will have to rely on the penetrating from Gay and IT2, and hope that the other guys on the wing hit shots. Either way it goes, there won’t be a ton of defense played on either side of the court tonight, and I see it leading to the over being the play.
The Sharp Pick
Nick Young and Chris Kaman are both questionable for tonight for the Lakers, but even if both sit out, I see the over having some value. The last meeting between these two teams went over, and although several of the meetings before that one went under the total, these two teams have too many missing parts right now to put forth a balanced game. Especially for the Lakers, the shortened benches make for more run for other players, which normally leads to less defense due to tired legs.
Sacramento has cashed the over in four of their last six games overall, while the Lakers have cashed the over in five of their last six games. In fact even though the under has cashed in three of their last four overall meetings, the over has cashed in 15 of the last 22 times these two teams have played, and it has cashed in 10 of the last 14 times they have played from LA. When considering our NBA picks, I see those trends continuing in what should be a very fast and defenseless game.
My Pick: OVER 211 ½