LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers aim to avoid elimination on Thursday evening in front of their home fans at STAPLES Center. The Lakers host the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of a first-round matchup in the 2021 NBA Playoffs, with Los Angeles trailing 3-2 in the series. The Suns picked up a dominant win in Game 5, taking control of the series. Anthony Davis (groin) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (knee) are listed as questionable for the Lakers, with Chris Paul expected to play for Phoenix despite his lingering shoulder injury.
Tip-off is set for 10:30 p.m. ET. The latest Suns vs. Lakers odds from William Hill Sportsbook list Los Angeles as a two-point favorite. The over-under for total points is set at 207. Before finalizing any Lakers vs. Suns 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 second full week of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on a stunning 100-66 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread dating back to last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Suns vs. Lakers spread: Lakers -2
- Suns vs. Lakers over-under: 207 points
- Suns vs. Lakers money line: Lakers -135, Suns +115
- PHX: The Suns are 4-6 against the spread in the last 10 games
- LAL: The Lakers are 3-7 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Suns can cover
The Suns put together an impressive regular season profile, and it is carrying them through to this point in the playoffs. Phoenix was the No. 7 offensive team in the NBA this season, scoring 116.3 points per 100 possessions, and the Suns boast impressive shot creators and supporting pieces. The Suns were also a top-four team in field goal percentage (49.0 percent), 2-point percentage (56.3 percent), assists (26.9 per game) and turnovers (12.5 per game) during the 72-game marathon in 2020-21.
Defensively, Phoenix is also tremendous, yielding just 110.4 points per 100 possessions during the regular season and only 101.0 points per 100 possessions in this series. Phoenix is No. 2 in the entire NBA Playoffs in defensive efficiency, and the Suns are limiting the Lakers to just 52.2 percent shooting and a sky-high 15.8 percent turnover rate through the first five games.
Why the Lakers can cover
The Lakers are an elite defensive team, and that has been true no matter the available personnel this season. Los Angeles led the NBA in defensive rating in 2020-21, giving up only 106.8 points per 100 possessions in the regular season. The Lakers have been even better in this series, yielding only 106.2 points per 100 possessions. From there, Los Angeles is tremendous on the defensive glass, snatching 78.2 percent of available rebounds through five games, and they have a penchant for contesting shots at a high level and forcing turnovers effectively.
Offensively, it has been up and down for the Lakers against the Suns, but Los Angeles does have James. With his back against the wall, the baseline for James is extremely high, and the Lakers will need him to find his superstar level as an on-ball creator and distributor throughout the course of Game 6 on the road.
How to make Suns vs. Lakers picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, projecting 209 combined 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.