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Suns Underdogs in West Game 1

Is the betting public too in love with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers and does that make the Suns a good bet at +6.5 tonight? Most online sportsbooks have the Lakers at -6 on the Western Conference Finals odds lists, but several like Bovada and Sportsbook.ag had Phoenix at +6.5.

Recently, that half point has not made a pinch of difference as LA has hammered Phoenix the past four meeting at Staples Center. Both teams are well-rested after completing sweeps of the Jazz and Spurs. Phoenix had an eight-day break and the Lakers had seven. So which team responds better to a long layoff?

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Phoenix is 5-1 ATS in its last six road games, but has not played well in LA. The Lakers are 9-4 ATS in 13 home meetings against Steve Nash and the Suns. The Lakers have won seven of nine SU against Phoenix.

Get the {URL=http://www.oddsshark.com/Stats/Matchup/Basketball/NBA/33027}matchup report on this game here.{/URL}

And while revenge is an overrated betting actor, the Lakers remember getting knocked out of the playoffs twice in recent years by the Suns. It could be that the total is the best play here tonight, at least historically speaking. In the past 11 meetings here, the OVER has prevailed eight times, for a money-making edge. But is 210.5 (the total set at Bovada as of Monday morning) too high to eclipse?

Their meetings have surpassed that number five times in the past seven games. But will the layoff lead to offensive rust? Nash holds the record for most playoff games played without making a final. Kobe stands in his way as they try to advance for a date against either the Celtics or Magic.

The Lakers will try to stymie Nash’s penetrating dribbles with the center tandem of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynam. Neither is completely healthy and the Suns did not shy away from San Antonio big man Tim Duncan in the last series. Los Angeles was not a safe bet at home during the regular season, covering the NBA point spread just 16 times in 41 home dates. Phoenix, meanwhile, won 24 ATS on the road.