Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Lakers vs. 76ers (12/11/2022) - Taking Vegas



Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Lakers vs. 76ers (12/11/2022)

By TakingVegas Staff Writer
December 9, 2022
Photo by: Tim Nwachukwu - Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers vs Philadelphia 76ers (12/11 @ 1:00 PM EST)

Spread: 76ers -3.5
Money Line: 76ers -195/Lakers +165
Total: 224

Overview and Betting Info

The Los Angeles Lakers (10-14) will continue their road trip on Friday as they head to Philadelphia for a matchup with the 76ers (12-11). The Lakers lead the overall series 146-141, but the Sixers have now won four straight and eight of the last ten. Both teams come in having lost their previous two.

The Lakers are 10-14 against the spread and have covered three of their last five. They have gone over the total 13 times, including four of their previous five games.

The Sixers are 12-11-1 versus the spread and have covered their last three games. They have gone over the total 12 times, including in three of their previous five games.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers have struggled in their last two games but have been trending in the right direction by winning seven of their last ten. They are top five in the NBA in rebounds and are averaging the second most points over their previous seven games (123.4). This turnaround is highlighted by an impressive win in Milwaukee, where they scored 133 points against the elite Buck’s defense. Their last game was a loss to Toronto without Anthony Davis and Lebron James, both of whom are expected to play on Friday. One big reason for their recent success has been an improved 3-point percentage, where they have been shooting 34% from three (last in NBA with 31% on the season).

Anthony Davis and Lebron James have been fantastic on the court together, and they should be good to suit up on Friday. Davis has a career year averaging 27.3 points, 12.3 rebounds (1st in NBA), and 2.3 blocks (3rd in NBA) and has been mostly healthy, playing in 21 of their 24 games. He’s been on fire in his last two games, combing for 99 points with 27 rebounds and six blocks. He’s been supported by the legendary Lebron James, averaging 25.8 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 6.4 assists. He’s only played in 17 games and missed last week with an ankle injury, but he should be ready to suit up on Friday. They’ll need both to be in top form as they play a Sixers team with a now-healthy James Harden.

The star duo has a solid supporting cast, highlighted by Lonnie Walker IV (16 PPG) and Russell Westbrook (14.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 7.3 APG). Walker’s shooting ability has been a significant upgrade as he gives this team a badly needed 3-point threat, though he’s struggled when Davis and James have been out. Westbrook has been a pleasant surprise for the Lakers, as he has been fantastic coming off the bench. He leads the second unit and has helped the Lakers be one of the top offensive teams in the league. Keep an eye on point guard Dennis Schroder who is coming off of back-to-back games with 16 or more points.

Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixer’s come home after a road trip that saw them go 0-3 and drop further down in the East standings. Though they are above the .500 mark, they have been struggling on offense. They are 26th in the NBA with 109 points per game and 27th in rebounds (39.9). The good news is James Harden (21.9 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 9.7 APG) is finally back from a tendon strain and should be back in the lineup on Friday. This team has also won five of their last six games at home, including impressive wins against Milwaukee and Brooklyn. The return of Harden and the home court is why they’re a favorite in this one.

The Sixers are again led by Joel Embiid, averaging 21.9 points (3rd in the NBA), 9.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 51% from the field. He also has been dealing with injuries, limiting him to just 16 games. He seems healthy now, as he has a combined 74 points over his last two games. They’ll need him and his blocking ability (1.8 per game, 5th in NBA) on Friday as he takes on an elite big man in Anthony Davis. He’ll be joined again by James Harden, who will be in his second game since returning from injury earlier this week. Harden struggled in his first game back, going 4-for-19, meaning the Sixers will need him to improve if they want to win on Friday.

A big reason for the Sixers staying afloat with injuries is the play of Shake Milton (11.8 PPG) and De’Anthony Melton (10.9 PPG, 2nd in NBA with 2.0 steals per game). Both guards have stepped up since Tyrese Maxey has been out and should be featured heavily, even with Harden back. Milton has averaged 20.1 points per game since Maxey went out on November 18th. Melton has added scoring but is stellar on defense, averaging 2.8 steals since Maxey went out. They join Tobias Harries (16.9 points, 6.3 rebounds) to give the Sixer’s a solid core that’s been getting them badly needed wins.

Free Pick: Over 224

With James, Davis, and Harden all expected to play, we see a high-scoring game on Friday. The Lakers have been scoring well, going over 110 points in six of their last seven games. While they are still last in the NBA in 3-point percentage, they have been shooting better, and we think that trend continues. On the other side, the Sixers will have Harden back again, and he should improve on the numbers from his last game. While they only average 108 points on the season but are scoring 110.8 over their last five games. Assuming everyone plays, we see this game surpassing 224 points without a problem.

We’re rolling with the over in this one.