Lakers vs. Suns prediction: We’re thinking about a contrarian play on the total

A key injury to a Suns starter could have an impact

NBA, prediction, Lakers, Suns, odds
Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, left, dunks over Portland Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant (9) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in Los Angeles. The Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers are enjoying their best run of the season after stringing together three straight victories at Staples Center.

Los Angeles will now embark on a three-game road trip, beginning with a stop in Phoenix to take on the Suns. We have a Lakers vs. Suns prediction.

Phoenix opened as a seven-point favorite, but now that number’s been adjusted to -10.

We’ll examine if it’s safe to become bullish on the Lakers or whether this recent run is more of a mirage.

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Lakers vs. Suns odds

Spread: LAL +10 (-110) vs. PHX -10 (-110)

Moneyline: LAL (+360) vs. PHX (-480)

Total: Over 226 (-110) | Under 226 (-110)

Lakers vs. Suns pick

Over 226 or better

Lakers vs. Suns analysis

It’s hard not to have a bit of skepticism surrounding the Lakers, given that two of their recent wins came against the Spurs and Pistons, who are a combined 9-27 on the year.

Their other recent victory came against a Nets team without Kyrie Irving (suspension) and Ben Simmons (knee injury).

However, one positive that can’t be disputed is the recent form of the Lakers’ eight-time All-Star Anthony Davis.

Davis led the team in scoring for each of the three wins with at least 30 points per contest. The downside for the Lakers is LeBron James will miss yet another game due to a thigh injury.

If we turn to the Suns, they’re tied for second in the conference with a 10-6 record. After a 7-2 start, Phoenix is just 3-4 in their past seven games.

The Suns were already without Cameron Johnson (knee) eight games into the season. Two games later, they lost Chris Paul to a heel injury.

We’ve seen Phoenix now play at a faster tempo with Paul no longer on the court to pull the strings for the Suns.

According to TeamRankings, the Suns rank 26th in pace with 101.4 possessions per game. However, over their past three games, Phoenix ranks sixth with 105.5 possessions per contest.

Based on the injury report, I think it’s a bit dicey to settle on a side in this matchup.

Thus, if you were looking to take a position on the game, I’d probably take a contrarian approach and consider a play on the total.

The under is 4-1-1 in the past six head-to-head meetings in Phoenix, and it’s 7-2-1 to the under in the past 10 overall meetings.

And given what we know about a possible change in style for the Suns due to Paul’s absence, I plan to go against the grain here and play this total over 226 points or better.

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