The Los Angeles Lakers will square off against the Houston Rockets on Thursday night in Game 4 of their 2020 NBA Playoffs Western Conference semifinal series. The top-seeded Lakers lost the opening game, but they bounced back with a couple of straight wins over the fourth-seeded Rockets who desperately need to snap their skid.
We have prepared all the betting tips and trends you need to know, so let’s see that can the sports bettors expect from the Lakers and Rockets on Thursday, September 10.
The Lakers miss Dion Waiters (groin), while the Rockets might be without Danuel House (personal). Robert Covington passed a concussion test after suffering a nose injury in Game 3, and he should be ready to go which is good news for Houston’s fans.
Los Angeles opened as a 5.5-point fave on DraftKings. The Lakers are -205 moneyline favorites on BetMGM, while the Rockets are +185 dogs to win straight up on the same platform. The totals are set at 220.5 points on BetAmerica.
What’s at Stake?
This is a big game for both clubs. The Lakers would be in the driving seat with a victory here, and the Rockets certainly don’t want to play with their back against the wall next Saturday.
The Rockets won the opener 112-97, but the Lakers dominated the next two contests and won 117-109 in Game 2 and 112-102 in Game 3. It seems the Lakers found their mojo, especially on the offensive end, and the Rockets might be in trouble.
We all know that Houston Rockets are playing special small-ball basketball this season, and I’m not sure what did they think about. Robert Covington and P.J. Tucker are top-notch defenders, but both these guys are typical forwards and cannot deal with Anthony Davis.
The Lakers learned a lesson in Game 1, so they started to be way more aggressive, attacking the rim and torturing the Rockets’ interior defense. Back in Game 2, the Lakers scored 54 points in the paint and made 56.6% of their field goals.
Furthermore, the Lakers tallied 56 points in the paint in Game 3 while shooting 55.1% from the field. LeBron James had 36 points last Tuesday, and Davis added 26 points and 15 rebounds. Rajon Rondo had a terrific role off the bench, finishing Game 3 with 21 points and nine assists.
On the other side, the Rockets continue to heavily lean on James Harden. The Beard is averaging 32.0 points per game in this series, while Russell Westbrook is adding 21.3 points and 5.3 assists a night.
The Rockets shot 22-for-53 from beyond the arc in Game 2, while they were 12-for-30 from deep in Game 4. I don’t expect to see any changes in their game plan, at least on the offensive end. However, the Rockets need a backup plan on defense if they want to beat the Lakers.
I think the Lakers will continue to take advantage of the Rockets’ height shortage, but I don’t expect them to beat Houston easily. The Rockets are very dangerous offensively. They have so much on the table in this clash, and I believe they will keep it close.
Therefore, my top betting pick is Houston to cover a 7.5-point spread at -160 odds. It seems like a more tempting option than backing the Lakers at moneyline odds.