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NBA Odds have Lakers as Underdogs at Home Against Houston

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LeBron James has said he’s now in, “playoff mode.” Does that mean they’ll fare better versus the NBA Odds? The Los Angeles Lakers will be looking to climb back into NBA playoff contention as they take on the Houston Rockets Thursday as 2-point home underdogs on the NBA odds.

Los Angeles returns to action following the All-Star Break on a 3-8 straight-up run and has posted wins in just four of 12 home contests going into Thursday’s game at Staples Center. And the Lakers have lost considerable ground in the Western Conference standings during their lengthy slide.

Los Angeles looked to be on its way back to playoff contention following a decisive 127-101 road win over Golden State on Christmas Day that lifted the club into sole possession of fourth place in the conference standings. However, the Lakers have stumbled to an 8-15 SU record in 23 contests since, and enter the stretch run of the NBA season mired in 10th place in the Western Conference standings, trailing the Los Angeles Clippers by three games in the hunt for the eighth and final playoff spot.

The Lakers’ swoon coincided with the loss of LeBron James to a groin injury that sidelined the four-time NBA MVP for 17 games. Los Angeles eked out just six wins without its superstar in the lineup and has fared only marginally better since his return, going 3-3 SU in its past six games with King James in the lineup.

Despite such an extended stretch of shaky play, the Lakers have demonstrated remarkable resilience on the NBA playoff odds. Los Angeles has managed to keep pace with the favorites on the NBA championship odds, where it is pegged as a +1100 wager. In addition, the Lakers lag behind only the Warriors and Rockets with +900 odds of claiming their first Western Conference title since 2010.

Rockets Have Struggled as Road Favorites on NBA Odds

The Rockets have plenty of work of their own to do as they continue a three-game road trip in Los Angeles following an eight-day break. Houston opened its current junket with a stunning 121-111 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves as 4-point road chalk on the NBA lines, and now returns to action riding a mediocre 11-9 SU run over its past 20 contests, including a 4-5 SU mark in its past nine road dates.

Houston has also struggled when pegged as a road favorite on the NBA betting odds. The Rockets have posted outright losses in five of seven while favored on the road, and are just 4-6 SU and ATS as road favorites this season.

Redeemed by a solid 20-9 SU home record, the Rockets maintain a slender grasp on fifth place in the Western Conference, one game up on both Utah and San Antonio. Houston also trails only Golden State as a +675 wager to return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1995, but has lost ground on the NBA championship odds, where it now finds itself looking up at the Lakers as a lengthy +1400 bet. However, the Rockets have dominated in meetings with the Lakers over the past five years, going 17-3 SU in 20 meetings since January 2014, including a 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS mark in their past 10 visits to Los Angeles.

Odds as of February 20th, 2019

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