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Lakers-Rockets a Strong UNDER Option

The Los Angeles Lakers have been the NBA's road warriors so far – which bodes well for the defending champs as they kick off a grueling stretch of games away from Staples Center with Sunday's visit to Houston. The Lakers (7-3 SU, 4-6 ATS) will play 12 of their next 14 on the road, beginning with a two-game series at Toyota Center against the underdog Rockets (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS).

Los Angeles Lakers vs Houston Rockets
  • Date/Time: January 10, 7 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Toyota Center
  • TV Coverage: SPSN, ATT-SN
  • Opening Odds: Lakers -4 | O/U 230.5 (Line History)
  • Lakers vs Rockets Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Injury updates will impact where both the line and total wind up, but the Lakers have opened as four-point road favorites while the total has been set at 230.5.

LA Lakers News & Notes

Los Angeles opened its 2020-21 road schedule with back-to-back sweeps in San Antonio and Memphis, holding the Spurs and Grizzlies to an average of 99 points in those four victories. And that commitment to defense will be put to the test in Houston, with the Rockets ranked fourth in the NBA in offensive efficiency – just one spot behind the visiting Lakers.

LeBron James has been the catalyst, as usual, for L.A.'s offensive attack, averaging 24.6 points to go along with 8.4 rebounds and 7.8 assists. Even more impressively, he has played in each of the Lakers' first 10 games this season – including a pair of back-to-backs. He has averaged 28.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 6.5 assists on zero days rest.

Houston News & Notes

The Rockets might have an entirely different look from their five-game Western Conference second-round loss to the Lakers this past summer, but they still have vengeance on their mind. And atoning for that rough playoff showing starts with improving an offense that scored more than 110 points just once in five postseason games against the eventual NBA champions.

Superstar James Harden certainly wasn't to blame for the Rockets' offensive struggles vs. the Lakers, averaging 29.2 points and 7.2 assists in the series. Houston will benefit from the addition of point guard John Wall and power forward Christian Wood, who have combined to average 24.5 points as the second and third-leading scorers on the team.

Betting Pick: UNDER 230.5 (-110)

These teams play at a slower pace than you might think – and given how low-scoring their 2019-20 playoff series ended up being, there's precedent for the UNDER play here.

Shark Bites
  • HOU is 14-3 SU in the last 17 games in the matchup.
  • LAL is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games.
  • The UNDER is 7-0 in LAL's last 7 road games.