The Phoenix Suns hit the road to face the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday evening in Game 3 of a first-round 2021 NBA Playoffs series. Phoenix will look to bounce back after a narrow Game 2 loss at home. Los Angeles will aim to keep the momentum going as the Lakers return home with the series knotted at 1-1. The Suns were one of the best road teams in the NBA this season, winning 24 of their 36 games away from home.
Tip-off is at 10 p.m. ET in Los Angeles. The latest Lakers vs. Suns odds from William Hill Sportsbook list Los Angeles as a 6.5-point favorite. The over-under for total points expected is set at 211. Before finalizing 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 $9,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up almost $800 on its top-rated picks this season and entered the first full week of the 2021 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 massive returns.
- Suns vs. Lakers spread: Lakers -6.5
- Suns vs. Lakers over-under: 211 points
- Suns vs. Lakers money line: Lakers -275, Suns +235
- PHX: The Suns are 4-6 against the spread in the last 10 games
- LAL: The Lakers are 4-6 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Suns can cover
Phoenix has the better net rating in the series to this point, and the Suns are effective on both ends. The Suns finished the regular season with a top-seven unit in the NBA on both offense and defense, illustrating their success. Phoenix is highly efficient as a shooting team, ranking No. 2 in the NBA in field goal percentage (49.0 percent), 2-point percentage (56.3 percent) and free throw percentage (83.4 percent) during the regular season.
On top of that, the Suns have high-value passers, generating 26.9 assists per game (No. 3 in NBA) and committing only 12.5 turnovers per game (No. 4 in NBA). Defensively, they do a fantastic job at limiting both 3-point shooting efficiency (35.4 percent) and assists (22.9 per game), and Phoenix has held the Lakers below their offensive efficiency baseline in both games in the series.
Why the Lakers can cover
Los Angeles has the two best players in the series, giving the Lakers a perceived upper hand. LeBron James is operating at less than full strength, but he remains effective and averaged 25.0 points, 7.8 assists and 7.7 rebounds per game in the regular season. Anthony Davis broke out in Game 2, scoring 34 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out seven assists, and the Lakers transform when he is deployed at center. On the whole, this has been a defensive series, and the Lakers have the best defense in the NBA.
Los Angeles held opponents to fewer than 1.07 points per possession during the regular season, and the Lakers have few weaknesses on that end of the floor. From there, the Lakers can generate free throw attempts consistently on the offensive end, and they are taking care of the ball well in the series. Los Angeles has committed a turnover on only 12.5 percent of possessions through two games, a figure that would be significantly better than the NBA's average in a broader sample.
How to make Suns vs. Lakers picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 212 points. The model also says one side of the spread has all the value. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Suns vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.