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Surprising Suns Face Stiff Home Test from LeBron, Lakers

Los Angeles vs Phoenix

The Phoenix Suns have been the best bet in the NBA so far this year, covering eight of their first nine games. That stellar ATS mark will be put to the test Tuesday when Phoenix entertains the Los Angeles Lakers, who look to rebound from a home loss Sunday against Toronto.

Matchup Information
  • Los Angeles Lakers vs Phoenix Suns (Matchup Report)
  • Date/Time: November 12, 9 p.m. ET
  • TV Coverage: Spectrum SportsNet
  • Opening Odds: Los Angeles -4.5 | O/U 223.5 (Line History)

Opening Odds Analysis

Oddsmakers took their time in posting a line, waiting for clarity on the status of Anthony Davis. The few shops that had opened a number by Monday night made Phoenix a 4.5-point home dog, the seventh straight meeting between the teams in which the Suns were catching points. Meanwhile, the total opened at 223.5 points.

Los Angeles News & Notes

The Lakers had their seven-game winning streak snapped Sunday with a 113-104 loss to the Toronto Raptors, who were double-digit underdogs without injured veterans Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka.

LeBron James posted his fourth triple-double in five games and LA led by eight points at halftime, but the Raps outscored the Purple and Gold 61-44 after the intermission. Fast-break points were ultimately the difference as Toronto outscored LA 11-0 in transition in the fourth quarter and 33-11 on the night.

“That’s kind of our Achilles heel right now, transition defense. It’s hurt us all season … it’s something we need to address,” Kyle Kuzma told reporters after the game. If they don’t address it, it could cost them again against the Suns, whose 21.3 fast-break points per game rank eighth in the NBA.

The health of Anthony Davis could also be a concern for the Lakers in this contest. AD aggravated a shoulder injury in Sunday’s loss to the Raptors, although he still finished with 27 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. “I just play through it and then worry about taking care of it after the game,” said Davis, who initially hurt the shoulder two weeks ago on a failed dunk attempt.

Phoenix News & Notes

Phoenix bounced back from Friday’s 16-point loss at home to Miami with a dominant performance Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets. The Suns set the tone from the outset, jumping out to a 20-point lead in the opening quarter and then finishing the first half on a 22-6 run en route to a convincing 138-112 win.

Phoenix’s team play on offense was particularly impressive as each Suns starter scored at least 12 points, seven different players hit at least two three-pointers, and there was an assist on 37 of Phoenix’s 52 field goals.

“We moved the ball,” noted Suns point guard Ricky Rubio, who collected 22 points and 12 assists. “We played super-unselfish.”

Somehow, the Suns managed to do that while also limiting their turnovers. Phoenix committed just seven giveaways in the game and outscored the Nets 32-10 off turnover opportunities.

Betting Pick: Suns +4.5

The Suns have beaten the spread by double digits in five of their eight ATS covers, indicating that bettors and bookies continue to underestimate this squad. I’ll grab the points with the confident home squad.

Shark Bites
  • The Lakers are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games.
  • The Suns are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games.
  • The OVER is 8-2-1 in the last 11 meetings in Phoenix.