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Lakers, Blazers Both Desperate to Snap Losing Skids

LeBron James' Lakers are the home favorites in the Portland vs Los Angeles odds.

Without Anthony Davis in the lineup, Los Angeles (22-11 SU, 14-19 ATS) is mired in its longest slump in the last two seasons. LA looks for its first win in five games Friday when it hosts Portland (18-13, 17-14), which has lost three straight but has covered 22 of the last 30 meetings as the visitors.

Portland Trail Blazers vs Los Angeles Lakers
  • Date/Time: February 26, 10 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Staples Center
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Lakers -4.5 | O/U 220.5 (Line History)
  • Trail Blazers vs Lakers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Surprisingly, the Lakers have been a popular bet since opening as 4.5-point favorites, moving the line to 5.5 by Friday morning. Portland closed as a 6.5-point underdog when these teams last met at Staples Center on December 28, upsetting the Lakers 115-107.

Portland News & Notes

After beating up on sub-.500 opposition during a six-game winning streak, the Trail Blazers have been dealt a sobering dose of reality over the past week. Portland has gone 0-3 SU against the Nuggets, the Suns and the surging Wizards, with each of those losses coming by at least five points.

“I think it was good for us to see where we are truly,” Damian Lillard told Oregon Live.

Lillard continues to carry a heavy load on offense with C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic likely sidelined for at least a couple more weeks. That burden might be starting to take its toll as Portland’s star guard is averaging 24.5 points in his last two games after scoring 30 or more in six of his previous seven.

Lillard had more help than usual in Portland’s last game, however, as four other Trail Blazers scored at least 18 points in Tuesday’s 111-106 loss at Denver. Carmelo Anthony was especially effective off the bench, scoring 24 points in 32 minutes for his first 20-point outing in nearly two weeks.

Los Angeles News & Notes

The all-star break can’t come quickly enough for the Lakers, who appear to be worn down both physically and mentally during their four-game losing streak. Things came to a head Wednesday in Utah when LA was routed 114-89 in a game in which the Lakers allowed 22 treys, missed 25 of their own 33 three-point attempts and trailed by as many as 29 points.

“It’s an unbelievable amount of basketball we all are playing,” Markieff Morris, who has been starting in place of Davis, told the LA Times. “Mentally it gets draining — especially when you lose.” That fatigue may also be showing up in their legs as LA has shot under 30 percent from behind the arc in seven of its last nine games.

One bright spot for the Lakers in Wednesday’s blowout was a short night for LeBron James. With concern rising that he’s been playing too many minutes this season, the 36-year-old saw just 28 minutes of court time against the Jazz, marking the first time he’s played less than 30 since January 13.

LA could also get a boost Friday with the anticipated return of point guard Dennis Schroder, who has missed LA’s last four games due to COVID-19 protocols.

Betting Pick: UNDER 222

LA has gone UNDER in four of its five full games without Davis, failing to score 100 points in three of those contests.

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Shark Bites
  • Portland is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games.
  • Los Angeles is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 home games.
  • Portland is 22-8 ATS in its last 30 road games vs Los Angeles.