The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled more than they ever have since trading for Anthony Davis in the summer of 2019. The Lakers are riding a four-game losing streak coming into Friday night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers, who come into Friday with a 3-game losing streak of their own. We will give you all of the information from BetMGM so you can make the smartest bets possible.
Tonight’s game tips off at 10 p.m. EST and will be televised nationally on ESPN.
The Lakers have been without Dennis Schröder for the last four games, all losses. Schröder is expected to return to the lineup tonight after clearing the NBA’s Health and Safety protocols.
The lines, courtesy of BetMGM
- Point spread: Lakers -4.5
- Moneyline: Lakers -200 / Blazers +170
- Over-under: 221.5
Place your legal, online sports bets in VA, CO, IA, IN, NJ, PA, TN and WV at BetMGM.
Advice and prediction
While the Lakers stumbled immediately after losing Anthony Davis and Dennis Schröder, Damian Lillard has the Portland Trail Blazers playing above expectations even after losing starting center Jusuf Nurkic to a broken wrist and starting guard CJ McCollum to a broken bone in his foot.
Since McCollum went down in mid-January, the Blazers have gone 10-7, including their last three losses. They’ve found some offensive firepower to support Lillard in Gary Trent Jr. and Carmelo Anthony, while third-year guard Anfernee Simons is starting to show consistency off the bench.
In the middle, the Blazers are light right now but the Lakers don’t exactly have the horses to expose Portland’s biggest issue right now. Enes Kanter’s effort and attitude are never in doubt but his foot speed can be exposed at times. If the Lakers are going to have a big game, they’re going to have to be successful in attacking Kanter with both James and Schröder.
Kanter, however, can also expose the Lakers own issues on the interior. Kanter is stronger than Marc Gasol and bigger than Montrezl Harrell, meaning the Lakers have nobody who can really body up with him individually. It has to be a group effort from the Lakers to help end possessions because Kanter has been the best offensive rebounder in the league this season.
The Lakers might be due to get hot from the 3-point line, but they also have to be careful not to allow Friday night’s game to turn into a shootout. Even without McCollum, Lillard and the rest of Portland’s other shooters would thrive in a game like that against a Lakers team without Anthony Davis.
While having Schröder back should help, it will probably take him at least a game to get his basketball legs back. Judging how the Blazers have found ways to win despite their injuries, despite their recent struggles, inspires a little more confidence in betting on them than betting on the Lakers with a rusty Schröder. Ride the Lakers fade, it’s only February anyway and there are only four games left between now and a nine-day break between games.
Prediction: Trail Blazers 120, Lakers 111
Lakers Player Grades: Lakers hit first rough patch in February