The second game of ESPN’s NBA Friday night doubleheader will take us to Staples Center for a playoff rematch from last year as the Phoenix Suns battle the Los Angeles Lakers. Both team suffered setbacks in their respective season openers earlier in the week, so they’d love nothing more than to get on the board with a victory over a Pacific division rival in prime time.
The Lakers enter Friday’s matchup as a 3.5-point favorite with the point total being set at 230.5.
Pick ATS: Lakers -3.5
These teams are just getting their bearings as a brand new season begins and it’s obviously difficult to ascertain anything about a particular club with just one data point to look to. When comparing the two performances, it seems like the Lakers have come out a little bit more energized than the Suns to start the season.
L.A. went into the fourth quarter of Thursday’s loss against Golden State holding onto the lead and ultimately shot a respectable 47.4 percent from the field. The defending Western Conference champions came out flat in their loss to the Nuggets on Wednesday, shooting just 41.4 from the field in a 110-98 loss to Denver.
Expect Lebron James and company to come out firing at home, especially against the team that put them out of the playoffs this past spring.
Over/Under: Under 230.5
This will come down to both team’s effectiveness from beyond the arc and neither team are at a point to be setting the rim ablaze just yet. The early-season under is the safe play here.
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