Article courtesy OddsShark (@OddsShark)
The Los Angeles Lakers are 4-1 straight up and 5-0 against the spread in their last five games against the Portland Trail Blazers. Hearts will be heavy on Friday night when the Lakers host the Trail Blazers in their first game since the tragic death of former Lakers great Kobe Bryant.
Los Angeles is a 13-point home favorite on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Lakers originally opened as a 10.5-point favorite, but bettors are clearly expecting the home team to rise to the occasion of playing in honor of Bryant.
Trail Blazers at Lakers | OddsShark Matchup Report
News of Kobe Bryant’s untimely death in a helicopter accident hit the entire NBA hard. Bryant was an icon that played against most of the league’s current veterans and was an idol to many of the league’s younger players. The Lakers had their scheduled home game against the Los Angeles Clippers postponed on Tuesday and will be playing for the first time since LeBron James passed Bryant for third place on the NBA’s all-time leading scorers list in a 108-91 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. James had 29 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists in that defeat.
The Lakers are 16-5 SU and 11-9-1 ATS in 21 games at home this season per the OddsShark NBA Database.
Portland has won back-to-back games over the Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets since going 5-11 SU and 3-13 ATS over its previous 16 games. At 21-27 SU and 18-28-2 ATS, the Trail Blazers have been one of the biggest surprises of 2019-20, stumbling through this campaign after winning 53 games and advancing to the Western Conference Finals last season. The team is just 9-16 SU and 10-15 ATS on the road this season.
Friday night’s total is set at 230.5 at online betting sites. The OVER is 5-1 in Portland’s last six games.
Carmelo Anthony won’t be with the Trail Blazers due to personal reasons on Friday night. His absence in the front court, coupled with what should be an emotional performance from the Lakers, could potentially make for a lopsided victory in Los Angeles’ favor. LeBron James has already been playing at an MVP-caliber level all season long, and he stated this week that it was now his responsibility to honor Kobe Bryant’s legacy with his play for the Lakers.