The late NBA primetime ESPN game features the disappointing Los Angeles Lakers hosting the surging Philadelphia 76ers.
The Lakers have been an embarrassment for most of the season. Recently, they are only winning games when LeBron is able to go supernova while the Sixers are a baffling team but keep on winning as the current 2 seed in the East.
The Sixers are currently 7 point favorites, with the over/under set at 227.5. This game is being played in Los Angeles at the Crypto.com arena at 10:30PM Eastern on Wednesday, March 23rd.
It really sinks in just how far the Lakers have fallen when you see them as big underdogs in their home stadium on a primetime ESPN NBA game. With good reason, too. The Lakers are currently 31-41, the 9th seed in the west, and have gone 4-10 in their last 14 games. There are some grotesquely ugly losses in there, too. In that stretch they have lost to the Spurs, Rockets, and Wizards (all teams below .500), while being blown out by the Suns by 29, the Clippers by 21, and the Timberwolves by 20.
There are a lot of low-hanging fruit jokes to make at the Lakers expense, with the butt of most jokes being Russell Westbrook. To say that the Westbrook experiment has been a disaster would be an understatement. For 80% of the season Westbrook has looked lost, confused, and a shell of his former all-star self, with the other 20% of games looking just good enough to wonder if he can turn it around.Unfortunately, he cannot.
On the Sixers side, they go from looking like the 72 win Bulls, to the 10 win Sixers from the “trust the process” years – sometimes in the same game. The Sixers seem unable to play a complete game, with some games being plagued by slow starts, while blowing 17 point leads in others. With all that said, though, this team just keeps on winning and even more so since they added Harden.
They have gone 10-4 in their last 14, with Harden being on the team for the last 13. They have some impressive wins during this stretch too. They’ve beaten the Heat, Bucks, Bulls, Cavs, and Timberwolves in these last 14. The frustrating part about the Sixers is we know how good they can be, but they sometimes look as though they are sleep-walking through games.
The one player who hasn’t been sleep-walking for the Sixers, though, is MVP favorite Joel Embiid. Embiid had a slow start to the season where he was working through the covid illness as well as a knee injury, but since December he has been the best player in basketball. He is 2nd in the NBA in points per game, while also being a potential all-NBA defensive candidate.
Embiid also loves putting on a show against the Lakers, who were his childhood team growing up. So, when looking at this game I love the Sixers to cover the spread at -108 at FanDuel.
Another play that I found a lot of value on is the under 229 on WynnBET Sportsbook. As you can see in the screenshot below, every other book prices this at 227.5, while we got it on Wynn at 229. The beauty of line shopping!
I also like this under for basketball reasons. The Lakers offense can sometimes make you want to gouge your eyes out. The only chance they have is if LeBron goes bananas, which is possible but not always likely.
It is shocking to see a team with LeBron James and Russell Westbrook have the 7th worst offense in the NBA, but here we are. The Sixers, on the other hand, play at the 2nd slowest pace in the NBA and have the 10th best defense. Everything about this game screams under to me.