It’s an inter-conference matchup Monday night as the Washington Wizards (10-17, 5-8 Away) are in Los Angeles to take on the Lakers (22-9, 9-6 Home) inside Staples Center. Tip-off is set for 10:00pm EST.
With six games remaining before the All-Star break, this is the first scheduled meeting between the two teams this season as we await the release of the second-half slate. You have to go back two years for the last time the Lakers and Wizards met twice in the regular season which resulted in a split, both teams defending their home floors.
Washington Wizards Betting Preview: DC United
The Wizards are in the midst of arguably the toughest part of their first-half schedule. Washington entered play on Valentine’s Day with a 6-17 record, facing a seven-game slate that would rival any team’s for the most difficult in the NBA. This 11-day stretch featured games against Boston, Houston, Denver and Portland, and after Monday’s matchup with the Lakers, they’ll face the Clippers and then the Nuggets again.
But instead of folding up their tent, the Wiz have reeled off four straight wins to get to double-digit victories. Bradley Beal led the team in scoring in three of those four games, averaging 33.5 ppg during the stretch. Russell Wesbrook notched a triple double in three of the four wins, coming one rebound shy of a fourth in the win over the Celtics. The former MVP now has eight triple doubles on the season which puts him in second place in the category in franchise history already, in just his first season with the franchise.
Los Angeles Lakers Betting Preview: Lake-Uh Oh?
While the Wizards are playing their best basketball of the season, the Lakers have hit a rough patch, losing two in a row and three of their last four. It’s no coincidence this skid coincided with Anthony Davis re-aggravating his achilles, as the star forward left the team’s loss to the Nuggets on February 14 and has not played since. Davis will be out for the remainder of the first half and will miss at least a month as the team decides how to proceed with his rehab.
This recent stretch has dropped L.A. from the top spot in the Western Conference with the Jazz overtaking them for the No. 1 seed. The back-to-back losses have both come on national television in high-profile games against the Nets and last year’s Finals opponent, the Heat.
Wizards vs. Lakers Betting Odds & Lines
MyBookie has the Lakers as 6.5-point favorites for this Monday night meeting, with an over/under of 226. Neither team has been particularly strong against the number this season as Washington is 13-14 ATS while Los Angeles is 14-17.
Free Betting Pick
In addition to Davis, the Lakers will again be without starting PG Dennis Schroder. Schroder tested negative for COVID-19 but remains in a week-long quarantine for contact tracing. Beal leads the league in scoring and will be a tough assignment for whoever draws him defensively for L.A. LeBron James will have to carry his team once again, though the team has gotten quality contributions from Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell since Davis’ injury.
Beal and Westbrook are in a groove right now while the Lakers are trying to keep their head above water heading into the break. An outright upset shouldn’t be out of the question, but we’ll gladly take the 6.5.