NBA Odds & Picks for Lakers vs. Wizards: Bet Both Defenses to Stay Hot (Wednesday, April 28)

Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Lakers vs. Wizards Odds

Lakers Odds -1.5
Wizards Odds +1.5
Moneyline -120 / +100
Over/Under 225.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds as of Tuesday night and via BetMGM.

Fresh off a massive performance from their two brightest stars, the Washington Wizards will hope for a repeat — this time in a win — when they play host to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. L.A. just recently returned big man Anthony Davis, and is looking to right the ship after seeing its stock out West slip over the past month.

Will Davis help the Lakers be more competitive on the boards, or will Washington dominate yet another opponent down low? Let’s look to the numbers and see if we can find some value here.

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Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers could have never expected to be in this position a couple of months ago. After losing LeBron James and Davis for an extended amount of time, this team suddenly finds itself fifth in the conference, just three games removed from a spot in the play-in tournament.

Every win at this stage of the season matters and will help position themselves better for a shot at defending their championship.

It’s true that the Lakers immediately got tougher and more competitive on the glass with the acquisition of Andre Drummond, but this team is still very much hurting when it comes to rebounding.

The Lakers are all the way down in 21st over the past 10 games with a rebounding rate of just 49.4%, according to NBA.com. There’s a pretty good chance that could change, however. With Davis on the floor this year, the Lakers have seen a 2.2% increase in that number.

Also of note is just how much Davis lifts this offense. His presence on the floor this year has led to over seven more points per 100 possessions, according to NBA.com, which was an area the Lakers struggled mightily in before Davis returned.

L.A. has maintained a very strong defense throughout all of the injuries it saw, but it ran out of ideas as to how to score the basketball without Davis.


Washington Wizards

Washington is a really, really fun story right now. Despite an overtime loss to the Spurs, the Wizards saw Bradley Beal drop 42 on a very respectable defense while Russell Westbrook went for yet another triple-double.

Over the past 10 games, they now rank a very respectable 13th in offensive efficiency, but even more impressive is the less-glamorous aspects of the game that they’ve quietly nailed.

Over that span, the Wizards have allowed just 109 points per 100 possessions to rank inside the top seven in the NBA, while it ranks fifth in rebounding rate in that time. They should be able to at least stay competitive on defense with one of the best units in basketball, and could even have an edge when it comes to the frontcourt, though it should be noted Robin Lopez will once again sit out with an injured ankle.

This game will certainly mean something to Washington as well, playing with everything to lose. The Wizards sit 10th in the East, just a game clear of the Bulls for the final playoff spot. They’ll be happy to play this one at home, too, where they’ve gone 11-9 against the spread as the underdog.

Lakers-Wizards Pick

This total simply seems too high for me when you consider how well both defenses have played. It’s true, the Wizards have ranked second in pace over the past 10 games, but their offense has trailed behind the defense and will now face one of the tougher tests in basketball going against L.A.

As for the Lakers, they do have Davis back, but it’s still unlikely he plays a full complement of minutes. With that, the offense should continue to look a little better, but not all the way fixed.

I like Los Angeles to slow down the tempo of this game with its painfully methodical half-court possessions, and for the defenses to run the show here in Washington.

Pick: Under 225.5 (-110)

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