In the five games LeBron James has played since returning to the starting lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers, they are averaging 115.8 points and giving up 128.8 per game. On the NBA betting trends, the OVER cashed in his first four games back before the total finally went UNDER in a 117-113 road loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday.
Overall, Los Angeles has seen the UNDER go 34-22-1 in its first 57 games going into the NBA All-Star break this weekend.
As the Lakers compete for one of the last playoff spots in the Western Conference down the stretch, bettors should expect them to see more UNDER results again after the break. It would also help if they covered the spread more often, as their backers have been disappointed with a 25-31-1 mark against the spread heading into the break.
Making the postseason will be a difficult task if Los Angeles continues to surrender nearly 130 points per game, with the team currently ranking among the bottom 10 in the league defensively. Only the Memphis Grizzlies (36-23) and Indiana Pacers (35-23) have seen more UNDER results cash so far this year, and those NBA betting trends should continue too.
The Grizzlies and Pacers both lost their best players, as the former dealt Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors prior to the trade deadline and the latter saw Victor Oladipo go down with a season-ending knee injury on January 23. Indiana has gone 6-5 in 11 games without Oladipo with the UNDER going 8-3, including 8-1 in the last nine, as they slip on the NBA championship odds.
In five games sans Gasol, Memphis is 2-3 with the OVER going 3-2 after cashing in the past two. While Gasol was more of a defensive presence, his scoring will be missed as well.
On the flip side, the poor defense of the Washington Wizards has led to a 36-22 OVER mark. The Wizards are surrendering 116.9 points per game, which ranks second-worst in the league ahead of the Atlanta Hawks (118.4). Surprisingly, the San Antonio Spurs are right there with Washington at 36-22-1 thanks to a 10-1 over run.
The Spurs are 6-5 during that stretch and have been known as a strong defensive team in the past under head coach Gregg Popovich. But times have certainly changed, with San Antonio allowing 111.4 points per game this year.
The big difference between the Spurs and Wizards though is coaching, and you can see that with their respective records both straight up and ATS. San Antonio is in the playoff picture right now in the West at 33-26 SU to along with a 31-28 mark ATS. Washington is not in the East at 24-34 SU and 26-32 ATS as one of the most disappointing teams.
The Spurs are hoping to hold off a pair of surprising teams that have been among the most impressive covering this season in the Los Angeles Clippers (32-27 SU and ATS) and Sacramento Kings (30-27 SU and 34-22-1 ATS). The Lakers are chasing the Clippers and Kings as well, and how all these teams perform following the break will ultimately determine who gets into the postseason and who does not.
It is worth noting that San Antonio has made the playoffs in 21 consecutive years, ever since the team drafted Tim Duncan. Of the two Los Angeles teams, the Clippers would seem to be the one to miss out as long as James can stay healthy, especially after trading their best player Tobias Harris to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Clippers are 4-5 SU and ATS in their last nine games after the NBA betting trends saw them go 4-1 SU and ATS in their previous five.