Slight Lean Towards ‘Over’ For Lakers-Raptors

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 6:35 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2019 6:35 PM UTC

With Brandon Ingram and Serge Ibaka both out, the ‘over’ might be the right NBA pick for Thursday’s tilt between the L.A. Lakers and Toronto Raptors.

Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Mar. 12: 19-16-1 ATS, 0-4 ML (minus-9.35 units), 27-11 Totals

L.A. Lakers (31-36 SU, 27-38-2 ATS) at Toronto (48-20 SU, 29-39 ATS)

Thursday, 8:00 p.m. ET, TNT

Free NBA Pick: Under

Best Line Offered: Heritage

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This isn’t quite what the folks at TNT wanted to serve up. The Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors are two broken teams heading into battle this Thursday; the Lakers are playing out the string, and the Raptors just haven’t been right since they rolled the dice on Marc Gasol. You’ll probably want to avoid the point spread for this one and put the total in your NBA picks instead – and in this case, we’re recommending the ‘over’ for a small wager.

Showtime... Sorta

The Lakers (Under 39-27-1) would normally make a good ‘under’ pick, but nothing is normal in L.A. Brandon Ingram (minus-2.2 OBPM, minus-0.7 DBPM) has been shut down for the season, as has Lonzo Ball (minus-0.9 OBPM, plus-1.3 DBPM). Lance Stephenson (minus-1.4 OBPM, minus-0.6 DBPM) and Tyson Chandler (minus-2.5 OBPM, plus-1.9 DBPM) have each missed five of the last six games; with virtually no shot at the playoffs, these veterans might not play much the rest of the way.

Those minutes have to go somewhere. The Lakers also play on Friday in Detroit, so load management could throw our plans awry, but Kyle Kuzma (0.0 OBPM, minus-1.4 DBPM) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (0.0 OBPM, minus-1.2 DBPM) have shared the floor with LeBron James (plus-6.2 OBPM, plus-1.8 DBPM) quite a lot, and each of their last two games went ‘over’ the posted total. It’s not nothing.

How Hangry Are You?

The big story with the Raptors (Over 37-30-1) is the three-game suspension handed down to Serge Ibaka (minus-0.6 OBPM, plus-1.3 DBPM) after he responded physically to some unkind words from Marquese Chriss during Monday’s 126-101 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers (+8.5 at home, Over 224.5). Taking Ibaka out of the equation gives the ‘over’ a boost for Thursday’s matchup – in theory.

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Ibaka vs. Chriss FIGHT NIGHT pic.twitter.com/r3fC1zOOv6

— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) March 12, 2019
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The Raptors have been trying to find the right rotation fit for Gasol (minus-1.8 OBPM, plus-3.5 DBPM), and it certainly hasn’t been with the starters. Here are Toronto’s splits with the Gasol/Ibaka tag team:

Gasol starts: 2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS, Over 3-1-1
Ibaka starts: 6-1 SU, 2-5 ATS, Over 4-3

Yikes. The Raptors are off Friday, so we’ll presumably see Kawhi Leonard (plus-4.5 OBPM, plus-0.7 DBPM) in action, but he and Gasol have not been gelling – and now Ibaka isn’t available. Maybe we’ll end up seeing more of Pascal Siakam (plus-2.0 OBPM, minus-1.5 DBPM) on Thursday. Then again, OG Anunoby (minus-1.1 OBPM, 0.0 DBPM) and Chris Boucher (minus-1.7 OBPM, plus-0.9 DBPM) could get some more burn, too. The first NBA odds just hit the board as I write this, with Toronto as a 10.5-point home fave and the total at 229; it’s a manageable total, but again, make it a suitably small wager, and may the sphere be with you.

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