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How to watch, what to watch for in Lakers vs. Rockets Game 3 [UPDATE]

We go over TV schedule, betting odds and injury report for the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets NBA Playoff matchup on Tuesday.

James Harden of the Houston Rockets drives the ball against Rajon Rondo of the Los Angeles Lakers during the fourth quarter in Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 06, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers entered their second round series against the Houston Rockets as heavy favorites. The Rockets came out and stole Game 1 with a strong defensive effort. The Lakers came right back with a punch in Game 2 to even the series. Now, we’ve got a crucial Game 3 matchup at 9:00 p.m. ET on TNT on Tuesday night. Let’s take a look at how the betting odds look, plus go over the injury report and make our prediction.

Lakers vs. Rockets Game 3 betting odds

Spread: Lakers -5
Over/Under: 223.5
Moneyline: LAL (-215), HOU (+175)

Update: We’ve got betting splits provided by DKSB as of this afternoon.

So after the Game 2 win, bettors are back on the Lakers heavily, with 75 percent of the handle and 70 percent of the bets on L.A. The point line has shrunk significantly since last night, down 1.5 points from 225 as of last night. So 83 percent of the handle is on the under, but only 54 percent of the bets are there. The bets are more even, but the larger wagers are leaning on the UNDER. The moneyline is similar to the spread percentages at 78 percent handle and 75 percent of the bets on the Lakers.

NBA Championship Odds

Lakers +275
Rockets +1300

LAL-HOU Game 3 Injury Report

Dion Waiters (groin) — Doubtful
JaVale McGee (ankle) — Questionable

Prediction

The easy way to look at this series is that the Rockets caught the Lakers off guard in Game 1 and they’ll dominate from here on out like in Round 1 vs. the Blazers. I think some of that thinking is fine. The Lakers corrected things on defense and had an easy time scoring on Houston’s defense in Game 2. I don’t know how much of that was getting actual contributions from the bench.

Rajon Rondo, Markieff Morris and Kyle Kuzma combined for 39 points off the bench on 16-of-24 shooting from the floor. I doubt we see that again. So my guess is Game 3 is closer. On the flip side, does Russell Westbrook continue to be lost out on the court? There’s no way, right? He’s just too good. So this seems like the spread is favoring the Rockets a bit right now. Houston still shot the ball well in Game 2. Tighten things up on defense a bit and Game 2 could have gone either way. Straight up, though, give me LeBron James and the Lakers.

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