The Los Angeles Lakers are 6-point favorites on Monday in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals against the Phoenix Suns.
The Lakers are more than 3-1 favorites in basketball betting to win the best-of-seven series. Monday’s opener on TNT should be interesting as each team tries to dictate the tempo of the game.
NBA betting odds list a total of 210.5 for Monday’s game. If the game goes over that total it is likely the Suns will be doing well but if it is lower scoring it helps the Lakers. "We have to be the up-tempo team," Phoenix head coach Alvin Gentry said. "The more we spread the floor and be in early offense, the better off we are." The Lakers were fifth in the league in field goal percentage defense so the Suns really want to get their transition game going. "You want to get them up and down," Phoenix forward Amare Stoudemire said. "I don’t think Bynum is as agile as he once was. I don’t know if Gasol wants to keep up with us, as far as foot speed. It’s going to be tough for them to guard us, but both teams will have their hands full."
The Suns have pretty much admitted that they have to control the pace of this series to win. "Pace is especially important in this series," guard Jason Richardson said, "They’re too good in the half-court defense. They’re too long.” Not to be forgotten in all of this debate about pace is that the Lakers have the best player in the league in Kobe Bryant and he can take over a game at anytime. And Kobe may end up being the difference in this basketball betting series.
Phoenix is Suns are 5-0 against the NBA betting odds in their last 5 games as a road underdog. The Suns are 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 games overall. The Lakers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Lakers are 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 home games. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings between the two teams.
Looking at the total, seven of the last nine Phoenix road games have gone under. Three of the last four Los Angeles games overall have gone over. In this series 8 of the last 11 in Los Angeles have gone over.