The Lakers have been worse than the Wizards this season — at least in terms of record and scoring margin. In the standings, Los Angeles sits 9th in the less competitive Western Conference while Washington is 11th in the East. In strength of schedule adjusted scoring margin, the Wizards rank 23rd and the Lakers 24th.
These teams are not juggernauts.
Wizards at Lakers — Rankings
Neither team has been much good on offense this season, but neither team has been much good on defense either. And, the Lakers’ only defensive difference maker (Anthony Davis) will miss the game.
A couple contrasts could make things interesting. The Lakers have the league’s 7th worst offensive turnover percentage — the Wizards are 30th in forcing turnovers.
And, despite having the NBA’s oldest team, the Lakers are 4th in pace so far this season. The Wizards are middle of the pack in age and 23rd in pace.
The top storyline will be the first matchup between these teams since the offseason blockbuster trade that sent Russell Westbrook to Los Angeles and brought Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell to DC.
PG — Raul Neto
SG — Corey Kispert
SF — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
PF — Kyle Kuzma
C — Kristaps Porzingis
G — Ish Smith
G — Tomas Satoransky
F — Deni Avdija
F — Rui Hachimura
C — Daniel Gafford
PG — Russell Westbrook
SG — Malik Monk
SF — Austin Reeves
PF — Stanley Johnson
C — LeBron James
G — D.J. Augustin
G — Avery Bradley
F — Carmelo Anthony
F — Kent Bazemore
C — Dwight Howard
Talen Horton-Tucker is listed as day-to-day and could play.
DraftKings Sportsbook odds indicate the bookmakers (and bettors) see the Lakers as the stronger team.
- Spread: Lakers -4
- Total (over/under): 228
- Moneyline: Wizards +160; Lakers -190
My prediction machine has the Lakers with a 57% chance of winning, which is primarily due to having homecourt advantage. That’s not much different from the DraftKings line — making the Lakers four-point favorites implies a 62% chance of winning. My machine forecasts a total of 218 points. That would suggest taking the under, but the Wizards have tended to play in high-scoring games lately, so I’d go the other way.
In the category of Predictions Sure to Go Wrong, IF I was to wager on this game, I’d pick the Lakers to win, the Wizards to cover, and the total to exceed 228. Friendly reminder: Do not use these predictions as a basis for actual wagers.
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