Sixers vs. Lakers Betting Pick (January 27, 2021)

sixers lakers betting pick
Photo credit: © Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday night, the Sixers and Lakers meet for the first time this season. The Sixers (12-6) are the top team in the Eastern Conference, while. the visiting Lakers (14-4) are the best in the West. Who will win this battle of the top seeds?

Let’s get into our Sixers-Lakers betting preview, including odds, boosts, and picks.

Preview

The defending NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers travel to the City of Brotherly Love for a nationally televised contest featuring the Beasts of the East hosting the Best in the West. Quarter-season MVP candidates LeBron James and Joel Embiid will do battle -albeit not while matched up much if at all- in a game that could be a preview of the NBA Finals.

After winning three straight games, the Sixers are coming off a disappointing loss in the second half of a road back-to-back against the Detroit Pistons. That loss dropped Philadelphia to 0-4 on the season when franchise center Joel Embiid is out of the lineup. He projects to be in the lineup for this massive matchup, which gives the Sixers a fighting chance to compete with Los Angeles.

The Lakers have won three consecutive games, all on the road, and are 8-1 in their last nine games. Their last game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, a 115-108 victory, was a bit too close for comfort, but Los Angeles got a massive performance from LeBron James who dropped 46 points. Anthony Davis contributed a 17 point, 10 rebound double-double in the winning effort.

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Sixers vs. Lakers Odds

Here’s the line for the Sixers and Pistons at DraftKings Sportsbook:

    • Spread: Sixers +2.0, Lakers -2.0
    • Moneyline: Sixers +110, Lakers -133
    • Total: 216.5

And here are the current best available odds for the Sixers (may not display on Google AMP pages):

 

Bets We Like With a Lakers Win

FiveThirtyEight gives the Lakers a 50% chance of winning with a straight up pick ’em line. Los Angeles’ implied win probability based on the moneyline is 57%.

Lakers to Win and Over 221.5 Points (+235, DraftKings)

Despite Philadelphia’s sensational record at home dating back to the end of 2019, we believe the defending NBA champions are the better bet in this game. The Lakers are 13-4 in games in which they’ve been installed as the favorite, while the Sixers are 0-3 as underdogs.

The Lakers are 8-1 in their last nine games with LeBron James rolling back the clock and looking every bit the best player in the league.

Los Angeles won the last matchup between the teams 120-107 on March 3, 2020. In that game, Anthony Davis went off for 37 points to go with 13 rebounds. LeBron James contributed 22 points and 14 assists in that game. The huge caveat is the fact that neither Joel Embiid nor Ben Simmons played in that game due to injury. In fact, the Sixers’ highest scorer in that one, Glen Robinson III, is no longer part of the team.

That said, the Lakers are a better and deeper team. They started this road trip with a win over the Milwaukee Bucks, took down the Chicago Bulls by double digits, and beat the Cleveland Cavaliers last night.

This game marks the midpoint of a seven-game road trip. That wear-and-tear might give the Sixers a chance, but the Lakers should still win.

 

Bets We Like With a Sixers Win

Sixers to Win and Under 221.5 Points (+290, DraftKings)

To be clear: we don’t like the Sixers to win this game. There are a couple of trends that could play in their favor, but they’re not necessarily indicative of what will happen in this one. Los Angeles has walked away empty-handed in their past two trips to Philadelphia and haven’t won in the City of Brotherly Love since 2017.

Joel Embiid has been an early MVP candidate, terrorizing the opposition from the inside out. The real question is how much he’ll see of Anthony Davis, who prefers playing the four, but could be called into action as a temporary center if Marc Gasol runs into foul trouble.

If Embiid can’t solve the Gasol problem, the Sixers are in for a long night. Theoretically they could try to get into a distance shootout, but that’s not a game they’ve excelled at. Their only hope would be a defensive slog. If you’re going to throw money down on the Sixers, take the under.

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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome

Joel Embiid 30+ Points (+200, BetMGM)

Sixers franchise center Joel Embiid has been on an absolute tear of late. He’s racked up at least 33 points in four of his last five games, including performances of 33, 38, 42, and 45 points. He’s going up against one of the few players. in the NBA who’s had success defending him: Marc Gasol. One place Embiid has excelled this season is drawing fouls on the opposing center, throwing a wrench into the opposing coach’s gameplan.

Though Embiid didn’t have the chance to take on the Lakers a season ago, he averaged 32.5 points per game across two matchups with the Lakers in 2018-19.

If the Sixers are to have any shot in this game, they’ll need a big performance from their star center.

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Sixers vs. Lakers Prediction

Pick: The defending NBA champions will give the Sixers a real run for their money in this one. While the Sixers have been excellent at home over the past two seasons, we believe this will be a blemish on that record. Take the Lakers to win and Over 221.5 points.

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