Knicks vs. Lakers: Why LA Has an Edge at Home

Joe Dellera breaks down the NBA matchup between the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, March 12 and shares his betting pick.

Knicks vs. Lakers Odds

Knicks Odds +3
Lakers Odds -3
Over/Under 225.5
Time 9 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Lakers host the Knicks tonight as they look to continue their climb through the Western Conference standings. Can the Knicks snap the Lakers’ three-game winning streak, or will the Knicks suffer their fourth-consecutive loss?

>> Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds, track your bets and follow all of our experts’ picks.

Can Randle Carry the Knicks?

The Knicks miss Jalen Brunson, and his status for tonight’s game remains up in the air as he deals with a foot injury. Immanuel Quickley has stepped into a starting role in Brunson’s absence, but Brunson’s impact on the offense and the Knicks’ rotations is significant. If he can’t play, this dramatically hurts the Knicks’ chances of success.

Situationally, this is a bad spot for the Knicks. It is the team’s third game in four days and the second night of a back-to-back after losing to the Clippers yesterday. Even though the Knicks are 6-4 on the season with no rest, this is not an ideal spot for a potentially undermanned team.

Julius Randle is one player who has historically had success against the Lakers. Randle has thrived against the team that drafted him, and in three games over the last two seasons, he has averaged 25 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 5.7 assists. The Knicks will need to lean on him today, especially if Brunson is out. His rebounding prop is set at 8.5 today, and I like the over.

Lakers Rising with Russell

The Lakers have been much improved after their trade deadline acquisitions, and even though Anthony Davis (foot) is listed as probable, this is an injury designation he has often played through. Although the Lakers have been starting Malik Beasley and Troy Brown Jr., they played fewer minutes than both Dennis Schroder and Austin Reaves in D’Angelo Russell’s first game back from injury.

The Lakers have now won three straight games, and the minutes with Russell on the floor have been excellent. In 274 possessions, the Lakers are +8.7 in Point Differential with Russell on the floor. The team is thriving with a point guard who can stretch the floor and facilitate the offense.

Over the last two weeks, the Lakers have a +2.5 Point Differential and are beginning to round into form as they climb their way into the Western Conference playoff picture. Their offense has still struggled over this stretch, but the defense has been excellent by allowing just 104.5 points per 100 possessions. While Russell is not the best defender, his offense should make up for any defensive deficiencies.

Knicks-Lakers Pick

This is a bad situational spot for the Knicks as they are struggling on this Western Conference road trip. Even though the Lakers will be without LeBron James once again, they should have enough firepower to take on the Knicks without Jalen Brunson.

I expect the Lakers to send the Knicks out of LA with a loss as they will have particularly tired legs with a shorter rotation without Brunson in their third game in four days.