Two of the NBA's legacy franchises match up on Tuesday when the Los Angeles Lakers host the New York Knicks. Both teams are 38-30 this season and battling for NBA playoff positioning in their respective conference. New York is 16-19 on the road, with Los Angeles boasting a 19-15 home record in 2020-21. Immanuel Quickley (ankle) is doubtful to play for New York. Dennis Schroder (protocols) and LeBron James (ankle) are out for Los Angeles.
The game is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. ET in Los Angeles. The latest Knicks vs. Lakers odds from William Hill Sportsbook list Los Angeles as a 2.5-point favorite, down three points from the opening line. The over-under for total points expected is set at 210.5. Before finalizing any Lakers vs. Knicks 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 over $1,100 on its top-rated picks this season and entered Week 21 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 99-64 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread dating back to last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Knicks vs. Lakers spread: Lakers -2.5
- Knicks vs. Lakers over-under: 210.5 points
- Knicks vs. Lakers money line: Lakers -145, Knicks +125
- NYK: The Knicks are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games
- LAL: The Lakers have covered the spread in three of the last four games
Why the Knicks can cover
Defense carries the day for the Knicks, but they also benefit from the fantastic offensive performance of Julius Randle. The veteran power forward is an All-NBA contender in 2020-21, putting up career-best numbers virtually across the board. Randle is averaging 23.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game as the No. 1 option for the Knicks, and he is also converting 41.3 percent of his 3-pointers. That helps to bolster an effective perimeter attack, with the Knicks making 39.0 percent of their 3-point attempts as a team.
From there, New York is a top-four defensive team in the NBA, and the Knicks match up well with the Lakers. Los Angeles is just 24th in the NBA in offensive rating this season, scoring fewer than 1.1 points per possession, and Frank Vogel's team is also poor in taking care of the ball. The Lakers commit a turnover on 15.4 percent of offensive possessions, ranking third-worst in the league.
Why the Lakers can cover
The Lakers are elite defensively, which has helped them to withstand myriad injury issues this season. Los Angeles is a top-two defensive team in the NBA, giving up only 106.8 points per 100 possessions, and the Lakers were effective even in the absence of star talent. The Lakers are a top-five team in limiting the 3-point accuracy of their opponents (35.2 percent), and a top-10 team in field goal shooting allowed (45.9 percent).
Los Angeles also creates a turnover on 15.3 percent of defensive possessions, No. 4 in the NBA, and the Lakers are dominant on the defensive glass, yielding the second-fewest second-chance points (11.4 per game) in the NBA. On the offensive end, the Lakers are above-average in both field goal shooting (47.1 percent) and 2-point shooting (53.9 percent), with the No. 6 mark in free throw creation rate. Los Angeles can also take solace in New York's struggles on offense, with the Knicks ranking just 20th in the NBA in offensive efficiency this season.
How to make Knicks vs. Lakers picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 202 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Knicks vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is on a roll on NBA picks.