The Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers both loaded up at the trade deadline. Now the visiting Lakers (28-27) and Sixers (35-20) should be at full strength Sunday when they clash at 3:30 p.m. ET at the Wells Fargo Center. A healthy LeBron James should also help the Lakers make a playoff push, while the Sixers try to improve on their spot in the NBA playoff bracket. The Sixers won the first meeting in Los Angeles last month and are seven-point favorites in the latest Lakers vs. 76ers odds, the same as where the line opened. The over-under for total points scored is 234. Both teams have nearly identical against the spread records (25-29 vs. 26-29), so you’ll want to see what the SportsLine Projection Model is saying about the game before laying any Lakers vs. 76ers picks down.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, is crushing its NBA picks this season. It entered Week 17 of the 2018-19 NBA season with a sterling 200-146 record on all top-rated picks, returning more than $4,000 to anybody following them. And it has been particularly red hot on its A-rated NBA picks against the spread, entering Week 17 on a blistering 35-19 run. Anybody following it is way up.
Now the model has dialed in on Lakers vs. 76ers. We can tell you it’s leaning under, but it’s also generated an against the spread pick that cashes in over 50 percent of simulations. That one is available exclusively at SportsLine.
The model knows the 76ers weren’t satisfied standing pat at the trade deadline and acquired forward Tobias Harris in an effort to make a serious push in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers are fifth in the conference standings, but the addition of Harris gives Philadelphia’s offense a major boost. Harris averages 20.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 43.7 percent from three-point range, eighth best in the NBA. The 76ers were already one of the league’s best three-point shooting teams, ranked eighth at 36 percent.
Philadelphia has also been tough to beat on its home court, having won 22 of 28 games there, including seven of the past 10. The 76ers are 8-6 when the spread is between -8.5 to -5.5, just like it is on Sunday.
Although the 76ers have played well at home lately, it doesn’t guarantee they’ll cover the Lakers vs. Sixers spread.
Los Angeles has had the 76ers’ number, winning nine of the past 11 games played in Philadelphia. Unlike the last meeting, won by the Sixers on the West Coast two weeks ago, the Lakers will have a healthy LeBron James.
James, who missed five weeks with a groin strain, averages 27 points and for the first time since returning, hit his average Thursday with 28 points in a last-second victory at Boston.
The Lakers have split their past eight road games and are 11-7 against teams like Philly that have a winning percentage above .550. And now Los Angeles will have reinforcements with the addition of sharpshooters Reggie Bullock and Mike Muscala, who was added at the NBA trade deadline. Both are expected to make their debuts for the Lakers