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NBA Betting Picks March 14 – Los Angeles Lakers at Toronto Raptors

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Mar/14/2019

Now that the pressure is off, the Los Angeles Lakers win a game.


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The following article is courtesy of Bookmaker.eu

This article courtesy of Bookmaker

Waving the white flag on the season by shutting down Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, and putting LeBron James on a minutes restriction, the Lakers ended a drought that saw them drop five games in a row and out of the playoff race, a stretch that facilitated the moves. So, after all the roster maneuvering the Lakers went out and beat Chicago. It was only the Bulls, but the Lakers will take any win at this point. And getting one over the Toronto Raptors would certainly be a huge accomplishment.

Los Angeles Lakers at Toronto Raptors

Date and Time: Thursday, March 14, 2019, 8 p.m. ET

Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON

Opening NBA Odds: Toronto -10, O/U 231

Lakers at Raptors TV Coverage: TNT

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Odds Analysis

One would think LeBron would be the first Laker to hang it up once the playoffs got too far out of reach. Say what you want about the King, but don’t call him a quitter. Even when the Lakers struggled through their five-game losing streak and a stretch where they lost seven of eight, he wasn’t. Officially the Lakers are still alive in the playoff hunt. Unofficially, they were tossed aside during that recent run of poor performances.

Looking to put up more of a fight, at least when the game is being played, the Raptors will try and bounce back from a loss to the lowly Cavaliers. They’ll have to manage without Serge Ibaka for a few games after he was suspended following a skirmish with a Cavs player. That was about the only emotion the Raps displayed in their 126-101 setback. It was also the second of a back-to-back and “it didn’t seem like our energy was where theirs was,” Nick Nurse said. Good teams are allowed to have bad games every now and then, as long as it doesn’t become a habit.

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Lakers

The Lakers’ roster flux continued with Ball and Ingram shut down for the rest of the year. The team has already gone through a number of players with 13 different guys making at least one start and 20 players appearing in at least one game. Even LeBron wasn’t immune to the injury bug with a groin injury sustained on Christmas Day eventually becoming the issue that turned the Lakers season from a promising one into the mess it is right now.

With a depleted roster and playoff hopes running thin, the Lakers turned in one of their better efforts in a 123-107 win over the Bulls on Tuesday night. James hasn’t given up on the season and his 36-points were an indication of that. It was also his highest scoring games since December.

With Ingram’s 18.3 and Ball’s 10 points per game not on the floor, it was LeBron’s duty to make up for it, and he did. James hit 15 of 23 shots and connected on 4 of 5 free throws, which is a plus for him. The return of Kyle Kuzma, who scored 21 points after missing the two previous games, also helped. But it looked like the Lakers were having fun for the first time in a long time, and the result was positive.

Raptors

If it was just a case of the Raptors taking their opponent lightly, you can bet that’s not going to happen on Thursday. Toronto was waxed in Cleveland and the Raps had a few days to stew over the ineptitude against the East’s second-worst team. It got so bad in fact that Ibaka was ejected and handed a three-game suspension for his part in a melee when attacking Marquese Chriss.

More likely it was fatigue that caused the Raptors to lose for the third time in five games. Finishing off a three-game road trip in the span of four days, the Raps just ran out of gas. Four of those five games took place away from home and the Raps are looking forward to getting back to their own venue. Their 27 wins at Scotiabank Arena are the most in the Eastern Conference and just one behind Denver for the most in the NBA.

The loss of Ibaka, who graciously accepted his role off the bench following the acquisition of Marc Gasol, is going to hurt Toronto’s depth. This would be a good time for Gasol to make his presence felt north of the border. He’s averaging just 8.6 points in 12 games for the Raps and had just two points in Cleveland on Monday night.

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LeBron had some magical games in Toronto when he was with the Cavs, and he and Kuzma are the only consistent scoring options. Beating the Bulls is one thing, but LA’s lineup is void of the talent necessary to take down one of the best in the NBA. With this game being the first of a back-to-back for the Lakers, there was talk James could sit. Even if he plays I like the Raptors to get a little redemption on the guy who crushed so many postseason hopes the last few years.

NBA Score Prediction: Raptors 116, Lakers 105

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