After their disappointing loss to the Clippers in their season opener, the Los Angeles Lakers get back in action against the Utah Jazz for their home opener at Staples Center. The Lakers struggled to match the Clippers’ intensity in the first game but despite being thoroughly outworked, there were plenty of positive takeaways. Danny Green had himself a historic night as he set a record for most points by a Laker in their debut while Anthony Davis found ways to still be productive and have a positive impact despite his shot not falling.
Meanwhile, the Jazz are coming off a quality opening night win over the Thunder on the back of a strong performance from third-year guard Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell posted 32 points and 12 rebounds in the win while the Jazz defense held the Thunder to under 100 points. Jazz forward Royce O’Neale continued his strong play from last season’s playoffs and is a player worth keeping an eye on in this matchup given that he is likely to draw LeBron as his defensive assignment.
Lakers vs. Jazz Betting: Latest Line & Odds
Betting line & Trends courtesy of Oddsshark
What: Utah Jazz (+150) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (-170)
When: Friday, October 25nd @ 7:30 PM PT
Where: Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA
Spread: Lakers -3.5
Point Total: 216.5
Lakers vs. Jazz Betting: Prediction & Preview
The Lakers offense looked stagnant at times against the Clippers’ staunch defense and the sledding shouldn’t be too much easier against the Jazz. With Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert anchoring the frontcourt for the Jazz, the Laker roster’s emphasis of size could pose a slight matchup problem. Standing 7’1″, the Lakers’ size will have some serious problems finishing at the rim near Gobert.
While the Lakers can follow a similar blueprint that the Rockets used in the playoffs – small ball shooting-centric lineups that can pull Gobert away from the hoop and render him ineffective – they are missing a key component in Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma’s multi-level scoring and lineup flexibility to play either forward spot make him an extremely useful asset in small-ball sets.
For as strong as the Jazz looked defensively, aside from Mitchell and O’Neale, they didn’t have much going offensively in their opener against the Thunder. The Jazz rely heavily on Mitchell to shoulder the bulk of the offense and help create open looks for his teammates by collapsing the defense – meaning if you can shut him down, the Jazz offense will likely go with him. Avery Bradley and Danny Green have looked great defensively so far for the Lakers but should have their hands full containing Mitchell. Look to this as a key matchup to determining tonight’s winner.
While the Lakers should sneak out a close home win, 3.5 points is simply too much against a team as strong as the Jazz. As a result, look to the under at 216.5 as a potential option. Though risky and a low number considering the Lakers allowed 122 in their opener, the Clippers are a more diverse offensive bunch and utilized their depth – something the Jazz don’t have – to gauge the Lakers. Expect a close game between the two Western Conference powerhouses and for both sides’ defense to show out.
Pick: UNDER 216.5