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Los Angeles Lakers at Philadelphia 76ers Betting Preview

The Los Angeles Lakers will head to the East Coast for a battle with the Philadelphia 76ers in Wells Fargo Center this Thursday. LeBron James and Joel Embiid will be the headlining acts, with each playing at an MVP level approaching the All-Star break.

The Lakers are sitting in eighth in the Western Conference at 24-24, getting back to .500 with a 10-point win over the Brooklyn Nets Tuesday night. Phili is sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 28-19 record, having notched back-to-back wins as they continue their campaign without disgruntled All-Star Ben Simmons.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers’ struggles this season have been well documented, whether that be in roster construction, constant lineup changes, injuries, and a failure to integrate Russell Westbrook into a championship culture. Tuesday will mark Anthony Davis’ second game back from injury, however, giving fans in Tinseltown a glimmer of hope as their tumultuous season finally looks like it will be regaining a semblance of consistency.

Although Westbrook has been playing better during the last week than he had in a treacherous spell before, the key players not named LeBron James have been Malik Monk, Carmelo Anthony, and Austin Reaves. Each of these three brings a unique talent that other players on the roster do not and have all been able to step up and make big plays in big moments, namely the fourth quarter.

L.A. is practically guaranteed to make a move at the trade deadline, a development that would please many as the Lakers look like they may not even get out of the first round of the playoffs, assuming they can navigate the play-in tournament they are currently seeded in.

Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers had an offseason rife with controversy and dispute as Ben Simmons made it clear that he did not want to be back in Phili, leaving the team almost entirely in the hands of Joel Embiid. The seven-footer has responded incredibly well and is playing his best ball of the season right now, averaging 34.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists this month.

Second-year guard Tyrese Maxey has elevated his play drastically in Simmons’ absence, checking in at third on the team in scoring with 16.6 per night. Phili is a nice defensive team that also has stretches of sensational team play, but they are also prone to off nights that leave Embiid to scrap almost entirely on his own.

Only two games out of first place in the East and with absences from key players on the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, and Brooklyn Nets, this next month of action could be vitally important to the Sixers’ final season standing.

Betting Odds

The 76ers are -2 (-110) favorites in Thursday’s game, while the Lakers are +2 (-110) underdogs.

The points total has been set at 217.5 with (-110) odds on the over and under.

Betting Pick

The safest pick here is the 76ers on the spread, given that their star has been playing as well as any in the league, and they are reliable down the stretch.

The Lakers have strong upset potential but are just too inconsistent, especially against bigger teams, to trust in this situation.

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