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The No. 7 seed Los Angeles Lakers needed a late-season surge to ensure a spot in the play-in tournament and will open the postseason at the second-seeded Phoenix Suns in a Western Conference first-round series on Sunday afternoon. The reigning NBA champions closed the regular season with five consecutive victories before rallying behind LeBron James for a 103-100 victory over the Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament to set up a matchup vs. the Suns. Phoenix finished one game behind the Utah Jazz for the top record in the NBA to reach the NBA Playoffs for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET in Phoenix. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Suns as two-point favorites, while the over-under for total points scored is 213 in the latest Lakers vs. Suns odds. Before you make any Suns vs. Lakers picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned over $9,100 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up almost $900 on its top-rated picks this season and entered the 2020-21 NBA Playoffs on a stunning 99-66 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread dating back to last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Lakers vs. Suns. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several NBA betting lines for Suns vs. Lakers:

  • Lakers vs. Suns spread: Suns -2
  • Lakers vs. Suns over-under: 213 points
  • Lakers vs. Suns money line: Suns -135; Lakers +115
  • LAL: The Lakers are 4-8 against the Pacific Division
  • PHO: The Suns had a 30-12 record against Western Conference foes
Featured Game | Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Why the Lakers can cover

James appeared in only two games in a span of nearly two months due to a high-ankle sprain but he showed his flair for the dramatic in his third game back on Wednesday. He buried a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from beyond 30 feet to cap a triple-double as Los Angeles clinched the No. 7 seed in a play-in matchup vs. Golden State. He faced the Suns only once this season, scoring 38 points, but he averaged nearly a triple-double (22.3 points, 10.7 assists, 9.3 rebounds) against Phoenix in 2019-20.

Anthony Davis missed more than two months with an Achilles/calf issue but he averaged 27.5 points and 9.5 boards in his last six games. He has registered four double-doubles in that span, including one against visiting Phoenix (42 points, 12 rebounds) on May 9. Center Andre Drummond is averaging 12.2 rebounds over his last six games for the Lakers, who ranked second in the league in points allowed (106.8) and were first in defensive rating (106.8).

Why the Suns can cover

Phoenix's hopes hinge on its backcourt pair of Devin Booker and point guard Chris Paul, the team's top two scorers. Booker, who averaged 25.6 points on the season and 21.3 in three matchups vs. the Lakers, scored at least 30 in five of his last nine games. Paul averaged 16.4 points and 8.9 assists and finished the season by recording seven double-doubles over his last 10 games. He had double-doubles in all three games vs. the Lakers, averaging 11.0 assists.

The biggest concern for the Suns is the health of center Deandre Ayton (knee), who missed the last three regular season games but was not listed on the injury report and is expected to play. The 6-foot-11 Ayton averaged 14.4 points and 10.5 rebounds and had outings of 26 and 17 points vs. Los Angeles in a pair of Phoenix wins in March. Mikal Bridges became more of an offensive threat down the stretch, averaging 16.8 points over an 11-game span.

How to make Suns vs. Lakers picks

SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 211 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations. You can get that pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Lakers vs. Suns? And which side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is on a 99-66 roll on NBA picks.