The Los Angeles Lakers will look to get revenge for last year’s playoff loss to the Phoenix Suns when the two meet at the Staples Center on Friday night.
Los Angeles re-shaped its roster, headlined by the acquisition of Russell Westbrook, and our first look at the Lakers wasn't particularly positive. Oddsmakers aren't expecting LA to really outshine the Suns tonight, with NBA betting lines putting the home side as slim 1-point favorites against a Phoenix team that got stomped in its season opener by the Nuggets.
Will Los Angeles find a way to earn the win here? Find out in our Suns vs. Lakers NBA picks and predictions for October 22.
Suns vs Lakers odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
The Suns opened as 1-point road underdogs in this game and that’s where the line stands right now. The Lakers are taking a heavy majority of the action thus far, but that hasn’t forced the oddsmakers to change much of anything. The total was once 223.0 in this game but now sits between 220.5 and 221.5.
Suns vs Lakers predictions
Predictions made on 10/22/2021 at 12:15 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Suns vs Lakers game info
• Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
• Date: Friday, October 22, 2021
• Tip-off: 10:00 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN
Suns vs Lakers betting preview
Suns: Dario Saric F (Out).
Lakers: Trevor Ariza F (Out), Talen Horton-Tucker F (Out), Kendrick Nunn G (Out), Wayne Ellington G (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Suns are 20-9 against the spread in their last 29 games coming off an ATS loss. Find more NBA betting trends for Suns vs. Lakers.
Suns vs Lakers picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
The Suns are coming off a bad loss to the Denver Nuggets, as Phoenix had a 16-point lead and ultimately ended up losing by 12. The Suns were uncharacteristically miserable on the offensive end in that loss, shooting 41.4 percent from the floor and turning the ball over 18 times. That’s not Phoenix Suns basketball, so you should expect this team to get back on track in a massive showdown with the Lakers.
In last year’s playoffs, the Suns edged this Lakers team in six games, but neither team was at full strength. This matchup will feature new faces on both sides, but the stars are healthy coming into this one. Still, while the public seems to be all over Los Angeles in this one, Phoenix matches up well against this team.
For as good as LeBron James is, the Suns have the luxury of throwing both Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder on him on the defensive end. They can also bring Cameron Johnson off the bench as another big wing to tire him out. Phoenix isn’t going to completely lock James down, but these guys are all capable of disrupting him — especially if James isn’t putting his head down and driving to the basket.
Deandre Ayton is also capable of making life tough on Anthony Davis here. Ayton did a good job in that matchup in the playoffs last year, and he has a nice combination of size and smarts on defense. Ayton will get his hand up and make Davis shoot over the top of him, and he’ll get into him around the basket.
Outside of those two guys, the Suns aren’t going to be very worried about this matchup. Los Angeles lacks floor spacers at the moment, and Russell Westbrook just isn’t going to strike fear into Phoenix right now. The Suns would be happy to let him pull up for contested mid-range jumpers, and Ayton will be there to meet him at the rim when Westbrook takes Chris Paul off the dribble.
Offensively, Phoenix is going to make more shots than it did against Denver, and that starts with Devin Booker. Booker had just 12 points in the Suns season opener, and he just isn’t going to play that poorly again. Also, Los Angeles no longer has Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on the roster, and he was actually one of the few players that was able to give Booker some trouble in the playoffs. Look for Booker to go off in a big way in this one.
Prediction: Suns +1.0 (-110)
Four of the six games that these teams played against one another in the playoffs went Under the total last year, and these teams both pride themselves on their ability to get stops. On top of that, both of these teams were in the Bottom 10 in pace of play last season. Sure, that’ll go up a bit for Los Angeles with Westbrook in the mix, but it’s hard to imagine it’ll change that drastically.
For what it’s worth, the Under is also 17-6 when the Lakers have been favored by six or fewer points since Frank Vogel became the team’s head coach. The Under is also 24-15 in Phoenix’s games against division opponents under Monty Williams.
Prediction: Under 221.5 (-110)
Until Bridges starts to get some more respect from the oddsmakers, it’s going to be extremely profitable to continue going back to his point total. This number was at 11.5 last game and the 25-year-old scored 16 points on 16 shots against the Nuggets.
Bridges is capable of shooting much better from the field and the outside than he did in that game, but that’s not the point. The important thing to note is that Bridges’ role in this offense is bigger than it’s ever been. Phoenix is looking at him as its third scoring option this year, and it’s just hard to envision him not averaging at least 15 points per game this season. That makes it nearly impossible not to back him to hit an Over this low.
Pick: Mikal Bridges Over 12.5 points (-118)
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