The defending champion Los Angeles Lakers will enter the 2021 NBA Playoffs as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, going up against No. 2 Phoenix Suns. Their first-round series gets going on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC. LeBron James’ circus 3-pointer lifted the Lakers to a win over the Golden State Warriors to secure the 7-seed in the playoffs on Wednesday night. Let’s take a look at the opening odds for Game 1 of Lakers-Suns.
Spread: Suns -3 (-112)
Moneyline: LAL +120, PHX -148
The Lakers struggled to take down a weak Warriors team on Wednesday night. While a win is a win, there’s got to be some concern about the defending champs entering this series. Phoenix took 2 of 3 games from L.A. during the regular season with a 42-point performance from Anthony Davis the only reason why the Suns didn’t sweep.
Phoenix has the type of defenders who can contain LeBron and AD in Mikal Bridges, Torrey Craig, Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder. The big question is whether or not Devin Booker steps up in his first taste of the postseason. We know what to expect from Chris Paul and we’ll probably see the Point God rear his ugly head at least a few times in the first round. If the Lakers struggle on offense like they did against the Dubs, Game 1 could get out of hand against the Suns.
Lakers vs. Suns series line
LAL -250, PHX +190
I’ll take “Things that are confusing” for $500, Alex. So the Lakers are favored by a decent margin to win this series but the Suns are favored on the moneyline in Game 1 at home. If the books are saying the Lakers will play better at Staples Center maybe they should check the schedule. The Suns will play 4 games at home. So there’s clearly some value on the Suns at this line and we’ll likely see this move closer to a toss up. If you think the Lakers can get it together and will improve with each game, you could wait and see if the line drops to something more favorable. This is the defending champs we’re talking about.
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