Lakers vs Nets Picks and Predictions: Starless Lake Show Falls Flat

While the Nets will surely get whatever they want offensively, we're not so sure this depleted Lakers lineup will be able to do enough to get this Over the total. Read more in our NBA betting picks below.

Last Updated: Jan 30, 2023 8:58 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Nic Claxton Brooklyn Nets NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

At times this season, it was fair to wonder whether Kyrie Irving would ever play another game of competitive basketball for the Brooklyn Nets.

Now, with Kevin Durant continuing to rehab an MCL sprain, he’s helped stop the bleeding with recent clutch performances and wins against the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors.

The Los Angeles Lakers are still reeling from their loss to the Celtics on Saturday and continue to protest vociferously about the blown call at the end of regulation that may have cost them the game.

They’ll now have to face off against a clicking Nets team without either LeBron James or Anthony Davis on Monday. Our NBA picks and predictions are predicting a low-scoring game in Barclays Center.

Lakers vs Nets best odds

Lakers vs Nets picks and predictions

The Los Angeles Lakers are 23-27 and in desperation mode, trying to claw their way into the play-in tournament from where they currently sit at 13th in the West. But they’re still not quite desperate enough to risk playing LeBron and AD in a back-to-back situation —  which is why they’re both sitting on Monday ahead of a game against the New York Knicks on Tuesday.

That leaves this Lakers offense in the lurch. It’s obvious, but the Lakers without either LeBron or AD barely resemble an NBA team. Lakers lineups featuring neither LeBron nor AD have an almost impossibly bad 106.2 offensive rating, putting them in the fifth percentile, per Cleaning the Glass

Totals in the 230s are no longer what they once were but it still takes two to tango. The Brooklyn Nets should have little issue picking apart this depleted Lakers team from 3-point range, but they aren't likely to be overly pressed in return. 

Brooklyn is the ninth-best defense in the NBA this season in part due to the development of Nic Claxton. Claxton has cemented his case for an All-Defensive spot, but the Nets have slipped some in the defensive rankings recently.  

The reason is clear enough: they miss KD. While Durant is first and foremost an MVP-caliber offensive fulcrum, his defensive play this season has been inspired. His size, mobility, and ability to defend the perimeter as well as offer rim protection, has been central to Brooklyn’s success on that end. 

His value was never more visible than in Brooklyn’s recent game against the New York Knicks when the Knicks scored 68 points in the paint, managing to keep the game close despite getting outscored from three by a whopping 36 points. 

That might seem like reason to bet the Over, except the Lakers have no way to take advantage of Brooklyn the way the Knicks did with AD and LeBron both out.

They simply don’t have the size and physicality to punish Brooklyn the same way. Claxton by himself should prove a strong deterrent to the smaller Lakers guards with his combination of dexterity and shot-blocking. 

I like the Nets' chances to score well enough, but this Lakers team is so bereft of offensive talent that I don’t see them keeping pace.

My best bet: Under 233.5 (-110 at BetVictor)

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Lakers vs Nets spread analysis

With both LeBron and Davis resting vs. Brooklyn in preparation for a national TV game in Madison Square Garden the following night, it’s a skeleton crew of Lakers set to take on the Nets on Monday.

That’s why this line has ballooned to -9 in favor of the Nets, who — while still without Durant and Ben Simmons — have proven a quality squad with Kyrie taking the reins the last couple of weeks. 

That high level of play has seen the Nets go 4-1 against the spread in their last five games overall, but on a slightly larger sample of seven games, they are only beating the spread by an average of half a point per game, per Cleaning the Glass.

With the two-headed dragon of LeBron and AD sitting, Russell Westbrook will presumably be given the keys, and new addition Rui Hachimura should have all he can eat. Dennis Schroder has also been critical to the Lakers' recent success and should be good to go as well, but the Lakers' overall trends aren’t much help because they’re just not a real team without their two best players. 

Their role players will surely relish the chance to spread their wings a bit, but there’s a good chance the Nets spread them out and blow them off the court in the first quarter.

If there’s reason to be skeptical of a landslide Nets victory, it’s their tendency to play down to their competition. Brooklyn is just 1-5 ATS in their last six games against teams with a losing record.

Lakers vs Nets Over/Under analysis

It’s always hard to identify the trends that keep their relevance when one team (in this case L.A.) is missing the elements that make them what they are.

The Lakers have played in a lot of low-scoring games against other good teams recently, which has seen the Under go 10-2 in the Lakers' last 12 against winning teams. But how much of that can reasonably be expected to continue without either LeBron or Davis?

What can be relied on however is the Lakers' offensive ineptitude. In addition to their putrid offensive rating without LeBron or AD, Westbrook is scoring a grisly 98.5 PSA (points per 100 shot attempts), which puts him in the 14th percentile among all combo guards.

And while the Lakers are built to run, the Nets play at one of the slower paces in the NBA. That Lakers' transition attack depends in part on LeBron’s ability to rebound and dial-up hit-ahead pass opportunities.

Westbrook will no doubt attempt to replicate that strategy, but the Nets having such a perimeter-oriented team rarely leaves them without multiple bodies back in transition defense.

Lakers vs Nets betting trend to know

THe Nets are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. Find more NBA betting trends for Lakers vs. Nets.

Lakers vs Nets game info

Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Date: Monday, January 30, 2023
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET

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