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Eytan Shanders previews LA Lakers vs. Houston Rockets

Just one game on the schedule tonight as the NBA playoffs gear up for a big weekend. The game in question tonight features a major crossroads in how everything will play out for the remainder of the series. If the Lakers get caught sleeping, it might open up too big of a doorway for the Rockets.

LA Lakers vs. Houston Rockets

Lakers -5 (-108)

This series has really been defined by each team’s bench. There is something to look at here with how Houston played last time out, despite getting much at all from their second unit. That has to change tonight if they want to stay in the series. Unfortunately, it’s been the complete opposite for the Lakers. Rajon Rondo has been on a tear leading the second unit against everyone Houston can throw at them. It hasn’t worked and looks to be a key indicator in how tonight plays out with the spread. I like the Lakers to win the game, extend their lead, and get one step closer to the WCF. The mid-sized line doesn’t scare me enough to play the Rockets, only because I know a battle of the benches will always favor the Lakers. LA can extend a lead in the 2nd, like they can hold off runs in the 4th all based on bench and role-players. The Rockets were helpless last time without anyone named Russell Westbrook and James Harden really contributing.

Under 220 (-108)

There is great value here on the board with this specific number and the return you get from BetAmerica. We just saw the Lakers hold Houston to a low number despite getting huge nights from their two stars. The second unit for the Lakers will definitely help, but playing this total is all about who you trust to play better defense. Anthony Davis and the Lakers frontcourt were not hurt by small ball in their wins, so why now would the Lakers suddenly revert back to a team lost on the perimeter. They have been able to close down and adjust and will continue to put the clamps on any Rockets player in a supporting role. All you really need tonight is a bad night from Harden or Westbrook, and that will certainly fall under the total.

Over 10.5 points – Rajon Rondo (-105)

Rondo has been killing it since his return. He’s been a huge reason why the Lakers second unit helped pull away last game and shocked a lot of Rockets players two games ago in his first appearance. The team isn’t going to start moving away from him, nor will Houston really do anything different to prevent him from scoring. If anything, you may see more opportunity tonight for Rondo to get to the basket and the FT line. His ability to facilitate will also open up a driving lane, so definitely keep an eye on this one as the value is great from FoxBet. Any big lead – especially a late one – will see more mins from Rondo as they continue to get him reacclimated.


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