The Los Angeles Lakers (35-9) face an interesting test on Thursday when they face the Brooklyn Nets (18-24) on the second night of a back-to-back. Kyrie Irving (hamstring) is listed as probable to play for Brooklyn, while the Lakers could opt to rest some players, given the fact that they played on Wednesday.
Tip-off is at 8 p.m. ET at Barclays Center. Sportsbooks list the Lakers as 5.5-point road favorites, holding steady from the opener, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 227.5 in the latest Lakers vs. Nets odds. Before making any Nets vs. Lakers picks or NBA predictions, see what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and last season it returned a whopping $4,280 on its top-rated NBA spread and money line picks. It's already returned almost $1,800 in profit on all its top-rated NBA picks during the 2019-20 season and entered Week 13 on a blistering 32-16 run on all top-rated NBA spread picks. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Lakers vs. Nets spread: Lakers -5.5
- Lakers vs. Nets over-under: 227.5 points
- Lakers vs. Nets money line: Lakers -231, Nets +186
- LAL: The Lakers are 5-3 against the spread in the last eight games
- BKN: The Nets have failed to cover in 11 of the last 13 games
Why the Lakers can cover
The model has considered that that the Lakers are a top-five team in the NBA on both ends of the floor, and that balance is reflected in a record that comfortably leads the Western Conference. Los Angeles is also an elite offensive rebounding team, sometimes leveling the playing field in a positive way by generating second-chance opportunities.
The Lakers are a top-tier team in terms of creating turnovers on the defensive end, and Frank Vogel's team is also strong at forcing opponents into contested, difficult shot attempts. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading the way, the Lakers hold the clear advantage when operating at full strength, and Los Angeles should also be properly motivated with the game taking place on national television.
Why the Nets can cover
Even so, Los Angeles isn't a lock to cover the Lakers vs. Nets spread. The model has also taken into account that Brooklyn is at a talent disadvantage in some areas, but the Nets do have edges. Brooklyn is an excellent offensive rebounding team and the Lakers often struggle in protecting the defensive glass. That can lead to easy buckets for the Nets at home.
The Lakers are excellent from a shooting efficiency perspective, but the Nets can combat that with a defense that ranks in the top five of the league in effective field-goal percentage allowed. Brooklyn can also bank on the high-end contributions of Irving, with 26.5 points and 6.9 assists per game on the season, and Spencer Dinwiddie adds 21.8 points per contest.
How to make Lakers vs. Nets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, and it also says one side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations.
So who wins Lakers vs. Nets? And which side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Nets vs. Lakers spread you need to jump on Thursday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.