LeBron James will take on his former team as the Los Angeles Lakers travel to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers on Tuesday night.
The Lakers have recovered from a disastrous 2-10 SU start and have won 4 out of their last 5 games to improve to 10-12 SU this season. Anthony Davis is averaging over 35 points per game in his last 9 games played and the Lakers are coming off a win over the Washington Wizards after taking down the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Cavaliers are 15-9 SU on the season and off to a strong start. However, Cleveland is just 3-2 SU in their last five games played and they head to this home game having lost their last game to the New York Knicks 92-81. The Cavs won their first meeting of the season last November 6th with a score of 114-100.
The Lakers are now 10-12 SU on the season after opening at 2-10 SU. Los Angeles has seen Anthony Davis return to form, perhaps even better, with better health. AD dropped 55 points on the Washington Wizards last Sunday, shooting 73.3% from the floor and 9-9 from the foul line.
LeBron James added 29 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists while Russell Westbrook had 6 points, 7 rebounds, and 15 assists, and Lonnie Walker IV contributed 20 points on 4-4 three-point shooting. Westbrook continues to thrive while coming off the bench after struggling early on as a starter.
Los Angeles is scoring 114.8 points per game this season on 47.3% FG shooting and 33.0% from long distance. The Lakers are allowing 115.1 points per game this season on 46.1% shooting. Their adjusted defensive efficiency is ranked 13th in the entire NBA.
The Cavaliers scored only 81 points the last time out in a wire-to-wire loss to the New York Knicks. It wasn’t really that the Knicks are that good in defense as that was the first time that they held an opponent to under 100 points this season. The Cavs shot just 29-83 from the floor including 8-35 from deep. They also allowed New York to score 56 points in the paint.
Evan Mobley scored 11 points on 4-9 shooting and was the only Cavs player with a positive +/- at +1. Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, the Cavs’ top scorers combined to shoot just 14-41 from the floor. The Cavs are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games played but are just 3-2 SU in their last 5.
Cleveland ranks 6th in the NBA in offensive efficiency and its defense is the best in the league as far as efficiency is concerned. Mitchell is putting up 28.7 points per game this season while Garland is at 22.5 PPG and Mobley 15.2 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Ricky Rubio is still out with a knee injury and Jarrett Allen could miss the game with back issues.
The Lakers are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games played against the Cavaliers. Los Angeles is 3-1 SU in their last 4 games played in Cleveland.
Los Angeles Lakers SU trends:
Cleveland Cavaliers SU trends:
This isn’t the same Lakers team that opened the season with a 2-10 SU record. The Lakers have enjoyed the renaissance of a healthy Anthony Davis who has been dominant over their last 9 games. After putting up 44 in a big win over the Bucks, Davis had 55 points and 17 boards the last time out.
Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook continues to play better coming off the Los Angeles bench. Russ has done the other things necessary for teams to get wins. LeBron James is putting up good numbers early on and he should be able to get his way against his former team.
Cleveland is 10-1 SU at home and they have Donovan Mitchell who looks unstoppable when he has it going. Winston Garland is also scoring over 20 points per game while Evan Mobley is putting up a near-double-double this season.
The issue for the Cavs will be the possible absence of starting center Jarrett Allen who missed Sunday’s game with a back injury. Allen is listed as questionable in this game and if he does not suit up, Mobley will have a hard time containing the red-hot Davis.
This should be a fun contest, as always, with LeBron James playing against his former team. The Cavs have always had the motivation to beat the Lakers but James has gotten the last laugh in most of their games. Look for the Lakers to continue their winning ways here. I expect the Lakers to force the Cavs into a high-scoring duel that Cleveland won’t be able to match. Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games played against the Cavaliers. Los Angeles is also 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games played in Cleveland.
Los Angeles Lakers ATS trends:
Cleveland Cavaliers ATS trends:
Anthony Davis nearly matched his career high in Los Angeles’ last game. AD’s personal best of 59 was set in 2016 against the Detroit Pistons. In his last game, Davis put up 55 points and 17 rebounds on 22-30 shooting. That came one game after he scored 44 points against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Brow is averaging 35.3 points per game in his last 9 games and he’s seen his MVP odds improve to +2500 from +20000 during that span. He looks healthy right now and is hungry to lead the Lakers to victory.
Cleveland is playing well right now but the Cavs missed Jarrett Allen last Sunday and he is questionable for this game. If Allen cannot suit Cleveland, then it will be hard for them to contain Davis. And even if Allen plays in this game, a compromised version of him will enable AD to feast on the Cavs’ defense.
The Cavs have played better all season long. But the Lake Show is on a roll right now and with AD healthy, they present good value at plus points. Prediction: Lakers +4
The total has gone over in 13 out of the last 18 games played between the Lakers and Cavaliers. The over is also 7-1 in their last 8 games played in Cleveland.
Los Angeles Lakers over/under trends:
Cleveland Cavaliers over/under trends:
The Cavaliers are last in pace while the lakers are third in most possessions per 48 minutes. Cleveland could be without Allen and not only will that be a big blow for their defense but it will be a welcome sight for Anthony Davis.
Look for the Lakers to pound it down low to Davis who will be hard to stop without Allen. The Lakers like to run the break and to beat this Cleveland team, they will have to take them out of their slow-paced rhythm.
The over is 9-1 in Los Angeles’ last 10 games after a straight-up win of more than 10 points. LA has thrived in high-scoring games. This one should be one of those.
Prediction: Over 224
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