Suns vs. Lakers: Injuries, Rest Motivations Are Key

Action Network contributor Jim Turvey previews how to bet Suns vs. Lakers, including updated odds, picks & predictions for Friday's game.

Suns vs. Lakers Odds

Suns Odds +10
Lakers Odds -10
Over/Under 226
Time 10:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

With just two games to go, the Phoenix Suns head to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers in what could potentially be a first round preview.

The good news for the Lakers is that the Suns have their seeding locked up and will likely be resting a good chunk of their starting lineup.

The bad news for bettors is that the books are well aware of that, leaving an 8.5-point spread for the Lakers to cover from their motivated half of the spread. Let’s talk about the best way to bet Suns vs Lakers.

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Phoenix Suns

The Suns actually played their full rotation last game out, moving to 8-0 with Kevin Durant in the lineup. And that’s the one interesting  thing about the presumed sitting of their starters.

As of writing, Monty Williams hasn’t officially said his starters will sit. It would certainly make sense with it being the second half of a back-to-back, and with the fourth seed locked up. However, I could also see a world in which Monty and co. want to get their starting five a few more minutes together before they get to the postseason.

The Chis Paul-Devin Booker-Josh Okogie-Durant-Deandre Ayton lineup has played only 119 minutes together in total. With a likely first-round battle impending, the Suns may well want every extra minute of real-time practice together before they get there.

Los Angeles Lakers

Ironically, the Lakers themselves have the busier actual injury report as of now. Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis were questionable for their game against the Clippers, and with hindsight being 20/20, it might not have been a bad idea to rest one if not both.

The two looked absolutely gassed on the second half of a back-to-back, and they lost anyway, leaving them likely to be in the play-in.

Of course, the gap between having to play a one gamer for your life vs. potentially drawing the Sacramento Kings is massive, so it makes sense to go full bore for it.

One final note before we get to the pick itself. Several times in this last week, we’ve seen results go completely opposite of motivation and rest. The Bucks sat Giannis and still stomped the Bulls who were gunning for the win. The Nuggets sat Nikola Jokic and still beat the full-rostered Warriors.

Suns-Lakers Pick

The final week of the NBA season is always a bit of a crap shoot. It can definitely can a spot to find edges if you have the correct intel, but it can also burn you bad if you make assumptions and are proven wrong. Personally, I’m not going above a quarter unit or so with almost all my bets.

As such, I’m going to grab the points with the Suns since there’s a lot more potential for the line to move in their direction; whereas, there’s not a whole lot of leeway for it to move the other way.

If I had to guess, I would indeed guess the Suns rest their guys and the Lakers play theirs, but again, this final week is more about trying to find potential edges than hard matchup analysis.

Small Lean: Suns +10