The Lakers are 8-3 since a flurry of trade deadline moves and have now won three straight games without LeBron James. Can they extend that streak to four against the visiting Knicks? Read our NBA betting picks below to find out.
A classic East vs. West battle headlines Sunday’s NBA odds, with the New York Knicks visiting the Los Angeles Lakers for a 9 p.m. ET tipoff.
New York has cooled its winning ways since heading to the left side of the country, losing to the Kings and Clippers in the past two showings and riding a three-game slide after putting together a nine-game winning streak that straddled the All-Star break.
Los Angeles has pushed its way into the play-in tournament despite missing LeBron James. The Lakers have jumped to ninth in the West thanks to a three-game winning streak and an 8-3 SU and ATS mark in their last 11 games since revamping the roster at the trade deadline.
I run down the spread and Over/Under total for this non-conference clash and give my best NBA picks and predictions for Knicks at Lakers on March 12.
Knicks vs Lakers best odds
Knicks vs Lakers picks and predictions
That overhaul in the middle of February not only brought in players that could help produce points but also upped the energy for L.A. on the defensive end.
The Lakers bench continues to be a solid scoring unit – putting up 42.6 points per game (fourth most) since Feb. 11 – but it’s the versatility in matchups and defensive depth that’s sparked this late-season surge for Los Angeles. Those reserves are logging quality minutes for the Lakers in the grind of the home stretch and were on full display in Friday’s win over the Raptors.
Los Angeles’ bench scored 61 points on a collective 59% shooting. The return of D’Angelo Russell to the lineup shifts high-energy guard Dennis Schroder back to the bench and allows the Lakers to still push transition when the starters need a seat. He scored 23 points while fellow backcourt reserves Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves added 16 and 18 points, respectively.
The Lakers have had a day in between games to recharge, unlike the Knicks who are not only playing the second of back-to-back contests and their third game in four nights but also doing so with a thin backcourt missing major minutes from Jalen Brunson, who is out again with the foot injury.
On the season, the New York Knicks lean heavily on its starting five with the bench logging only 16.1 minutes per game – sixth fewest in the league. The addition of reserve guard Josh Hart has helped a bit with that lack of depth, but he’s now having to log more floor time with Immanuel Quickley jumping into the starting lineup.
Los Angeles’ depth has allowed it to play great basketball in the final 24 minutes of games, with the team owning a league-high +11.2 net rating in the second half in those past 11 games under this current roster. New York owns a -1.5 second-half net rating on the season, with that 2H metric plummeting to -17.9 during this current losing skid.
My best bet: Lakers moneyline (-140 at bet365)
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Knicks vs Lakers spread analysis
With the Knicks losing to the Clippers on Saturday, oddsmakers opened this return to Crypto.com Arena with New York as a 2-point underdog. That spread has since climbed to Lakers -2.5 with some shops dealing L.A. -3 as of 11 a.m. ET Sunday.
New York is missing standout guard Jalen Brunson, who has been battling a foot injury in recent weeks. He returned to action against the Kings on Thursday but reaggravated the ailment and played only 19 minutes in the loss before sitting out Saturday’s showdown with the Clippers.
The Knicks were terribly flat against the Clips yesterday, shooting a dismal 36% from the floor, including just 7 of 31 from beyond the arc. New York had the hot hand from distance during that winning streak, connecting at better than 40% from beyond the arc in that span. It’s since shot a collective 20-for-81 from outside in the last two games.
The Lakers continue to make progress toward a play-in spot despite missing their best player in James. Offense has been hit and miss during this recent surge, but Los Angeles’ defense has seen the largest improvement, with this new-look lineup ranked out No. 1 in advanced defensive rating (107.9) since February 11 – a massive correction from L.A.’s 20th-ranked 114.3 rating before the roster overhaul.
That intensity on the defensive end has manifested itself in a windfall for Lakers backers, with the team covering in each of its last three games and seven of its last nine overall. On the season, L.A. is 33-33-1 ATS with an 18-15 ATS count at home.
New York is a league-best 22-12 ATS on the road after falling short of the spread in the first two games of this road trip and owns a 37-29-3 ATS record on the season.
Knicks vs Lakers Over/Under analysis
This Over/Under total opened at 224.5 and has climbed to 225.5 points as of early Sunday afternoon.
The Knicks’ offensive issues are driving the team’s current three-game skid and Brunson’s absence isn’t helping things. New York is shooting just 40% from the floor during this skid and has done so against some less-than-stellar defenses in Charlotte, Sacramento, and the L.A. Clippers.
All three of those losses have also stayed below the total after the Knicks boasted a 7-3 Over run in the 10 games prior to this slump. The Lakers pose a much stiffer test on defense, which is why this Over/Under is shorter than those previous three outings, even with the slight move up to 225.5 points.
Los Angeles continues to play at a quicker tempo in terms of pace rating but isn’t burning any lights out of the scoreboard. The Lakers are still a below-average team from beyond the arc, shooting a collective 32% from deep for just 11 triples per contest over the last 11 games and are 3-7-1 Over/Under in that stretch.
That said, the return of point guard D’Angelo Russell has given L.A. a proven second scorer to support Anthony Davis on offense. Russell is coming off his best game since being traded to the Lakers, scoring 28 points in 31 minutes in Friday’s victory over Toronto.
On the season, L.A. is 34-33 O/U with a 14-19 O/U count at home. New York owns a 35-32-2 O/U count overall, including a 15-17-2 O/U mark away from home.
Knicks vs Lakers betting trend to know
The Lakers are 5-1 ATS in their last six home games. Find more NBA betting trends for Knicks vs. Lakers.
Knicks vs Lakers game info
|Location:||Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA|
|Date:||Sunday, March 12, 2023|
|Tip-off:||9:00 p.m. ET|