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Defense Likely to Dominate in Suns-Lakers Tilt

Chris Paul's Suns are road underdogs in the Phoenix vs Los Angeles odds.

The Los Angeles Lakers have bounced back from their toughest stretch of the season, but they’ll face a surprisingly stiff test Tuesday night as they welcome the upstart Phoenix Suns to Staples Center. The Suns (22-11 SU, 22-11 ATS) have exceeded expectations in the early going and are only slight underdogs against a Lakers team (24-11 SU, 16-19 ATS) that has won two in a row.

Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Lakers
  • Date/Time: March 2, 10 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Staples Center
  • TV Coverage: TNT
  • Opening Odds: Lakers -3 | O/U 217 (Line History)
  • Suns vs Lakers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Lakers opened at -3, but support for the Suns has knocked this line down to -2 in most spots. The total of 217 has dipped to 215.5, with the odd 215 also available.

Phoenix News & Notes

What has been the catalyst for the Suns’ incredible start to the season and current 11-2 ATS run? It starts at the defensive end, with the Suns entering Tuesday having allowed the fourth-fewest points per game in the NBA (107.5). They’ve limited four of their past five opponents to 100 points or less, and are coming off back-to-back road wins over Minnesota and Chicago.

Credit is due as well to star point guard Chris Paul, who is thriving in his first season in the desert. Paul is averaging 16.4 points while adding 9.0 assists, his highest average in that category since his final season with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2016-17. He has also taken his free-throw shooting to a whole other level, shooting a career-best 96.2 percent from the line.

Los Angeles News & Notes

The Lakers know a thing or two about being defensively responsible themselves – and it has shown over the past two games, in which they held Portland and Golden State to an average of 92 points. Los Angeles boasts the No. 2 scoring defense in the NBA, helping the Lakers stay atop the Pacific Division despite being without star forward Anthony Davis since February 14.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have one of the best players on the planet on your roster. LeBron James continues to be a dominant force for the purple and gold in his 17th NBA season, ranking ninth in the league in assists (7.8), 12th in points (25.5) and 14th in Player Efficiency Rating (24.04). He’s a great DFS target despite his high price tag thanks to a sky-high 32.5 percent usage rate.

Betting Pick: UNDER 217 (-110)

Both teams have been most successful when keeping the pace down, and both are capable of putting a lid on the basket. Look for this one to come in UNDER its already-low total.

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Shark Bites
  • The Suns are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 meetings with the Lakers.
  • Phoenix is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 road games.
  • The UNDER is 6-1 in Los Angeles’s last 7 games.