LeBron James won’t play when the Los Angeles Lakers visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night. Can LA overcome the NBA odds without their best player? Here’s a complete preview, including betting odds and free NBA picks.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Saturday, November 06, 2021 – 10:30 PM EDT at Moda Center
The Trail Blazers opened at -4.5 at FanDuel and over at FiveThirtyEight, they have them at -8.5. FiveThirtyEight gives the Trail Blazers an 80 percent chance to win. For support, we turn to USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin’s projections; he has the Trail Blazers at -1.83 using his Rating numbers and at -1.62 using his eigenvector analysis.
This leaves a 4-point gap between the FiveThirtyEight projections for the Trail Blazers and the actual NBA odds. LeBron James is expected to miss at least one week with
The Melo Effect
The Trail Blazers (4-5 SU and 3-6 ATS) are also in a rut, so maybe we should just
Lillard was expected to regress to the mean but Portland is just 1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS since. It’s a small sample size at nine games, but Lillard’s career-low minus-4.9 Box Plus/Minus at Basketball Reference is up only slightly from minus-5.2 when the Clippers visited them.
It seems that this roster isn’t built for his talents – with Jusuf Nurkic (minus-0.2 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) and Cody Zeller (minus-1.8 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) at
Portland is missing Carmelo Anthony (plus-4.3 Offensive Box Plus/Minus), who has hit 32 3-pointers to start the season, the most through the first nine games of a season in Lakers history. Melo has scored the third-most in the NBA this season behind Stephen Curry and former teammate CJ McCollum and he’s doing it at the best clip (52.5 percent).
Anthony can keep the Lakers in this game but Anthony Davis (plus-2.7 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) is day-to-day with a thumb sprain and I can’t trust a Lakers team without LeBron and possibly AD and with Russell Westbrook making questionable decisions at point guard.
I’ll avoid the spread altogether for my NBA picks and play the Under on that 219.5 total at BetMGM. Both teams run the floor at a medium pace, especially the Lakers, helping the
NBA Pick: Under 219.5 (-110) at BetMGM