West Coast NBA Betting Preview: Philadelphia 76ers at L.A. Lakers

Pau-Gasol-lakers-16Philadelphia at L.A. Lakers
Time: 9:30 PM ET, Dec 29, 2013
Spread: LAL -7
M/L: LAL -275; PHI +235
O/U: 214.5

Betting Odds courtesy of Bovada

Even as a team under .500 and without its superstar Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers still find itself to be huge favorites Sunday night against the Philadelphia 76ers according to NBA oddsmakers at Bovada who find L.A. to be 7-point favorites against the 8-21 Sixers. Philly wasn’t expected to be good this season, but won its first three games of the season to raise eyebrows around the league. Those eyebrows are now firmly back in a “Yeah, that’s what time does” expression as the team is hurling quickly towards a high pick in the 2014 NBA draft, as most assumed it would prior to the season.

That said, rookie Michael Carter-Williams has been very impressive and is considered a top runner for the Rookie of the Year award. The 6’6″ point guard from Syracuse has displayed a lot of versatility and maturity for a rookie running the show and is averaging 18.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 7.7 assists in 36 minutes a night.

Evan Turner, who has been on the trade block according to league reports, leads the team with 19.3 points per game this season. And combo forward Thaddeus Young has played well again this season with 17.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. The Sixers top-end talent is good enough to be rotation-worthy on just about any team, but the Sixers lack depth in a major way and even going past its starting five yields a lot of “Who is that?” from the casual fan.

The Lakers have been surprisingly good considering the team is made of cast-away parts. Nick “Swaggy P” Young leads the team in scoring with 15.9 points per game and he genuinely seems to love having the green light from coach Mike D’Antoni. Pau Gasol has rejuvenated himself somewhat and is posting 14.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, while Jodie Meeks, Xavier Henry and Jordan Hill have all been useful for the Lakers in stretches.

Few are expecting the re-addition of Kobe Bryant to drastically reverse this team’s fate and make it a contender, but considering the Lakers don’t have its first-round pick in this year’s draft, there’s absolutely no merit to “tanking” the season. As seven point favorites Sunday night, the team will try to draw closer to making the playoffs.

76ers Trends: 0-4 ATS in last 4 road games; OVER 3-0-1 in last 4 after scoring 100 points or more in previous game; OVER 3-0-1 in last 4 following ATS loss.

LA Trends: OVER 8-0 in last 8 vs teams with winning percentage below .400; UNDER 4-0 in last 4 when opponent scores 100 or more in previous game; 5-1-1 ATS in last 7 vs teams with winning percentages under .400

Head-to-head: OVER 3-0-1 in last 4 meetings; 76ers 4-0 ATS in last 4 in Los Angeles.

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