Los Angeles Lakers at Toronto Raptors
Date and Time: Thursday, March 14, 2019, 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Opening NBA Odds: Check Back Later
Lakers at Raptors TV Coverage: TNT
The Lakers have all the looks of a team that is going to tank the rest of the season. They are not going to make the playoffs and they have no real incentive to win games, even with LeBron James on the roster. Head coach Luke Walton has even said that he hopes his players still play hard. "I want to see us continue to grind out and start winning games again," Walton said to the media after Saturday’s game. "When things are going easy it's fun for everybody, you're winning games, but where you really show what you're made of and where you really get growth is when times are tough."
The Lakers are a mess, as they are without Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and they could also be without Kyle Kuzman. LeBron is still playing, but the Lakers are considering limiting his minutes.
The Lakers were 14-18 ATS in their first 32 road games, with 16 games going over and 16 going under the total. They are averaging 112 points per game and giving up 114 per contest.
The Raptors are coming off a bad loss on Monday to Cleveland, as they were blown off the court by the Cavaliers. The only fight the Raptors put up was when Serge Ibaka threw a punch at Marquese Chriss. There is a good chance that Ibaka will get suspended and miss this game on Thursday. The Raptors looked weary playing their third straight road game, but they should be rested for this game on Thursday.
Toronto is just 14-20 ATS at home, with 18 games going over and 16 going under. They are averaging 114 points per game and giving up about 109 per contest. The Raptors have a strong one-two combination of Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry, as Leonard is averaging 27 points per game, while Lowry is averaging about 15 points and over 9 assists per game.
The Raptors have owned this series of late, winning the last eight matchups. They are also 7-3 ATS in the last ten meetings. Six of the last ten have gone under the total. Toronto has won six of the last ten at home in this series, with seven of the ten going over the total.
When handicapping a game you always look to make a case for taking the underdog first because that is where the value is. The problem with taking the Lakers is that they are simply a bad team right now. They have LeBron and not much else and we don’t even know how much LeBron will play from night to night. What we do know about this game is that Toronto should be in a foul mood after getting humiliated on Monday in Cleveland. The Raptors should be able to put that game behind them quickly and dispatch of a bad Lakers team. It also helps our cause that the Raptors have owned this series of late, winning the last eight games. I can’t see anything other than a Toronto rout on Thursday night, so I will lay the points and take the Raptors.
Lakers at Raptors NBA Picks: Raptors minus the points
Lakers at Raptors Score Prediction: Raptors 127, Lakers 101