Los Angeles Lakers are NBA’s Best Team on no Rest

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It’s no secret Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the best NBA picks the 2019-20 season. Even though it remains to be seen if the prolonged layoff of nearly four months will take some of their momentum away as The Association prepares to resume its season in late July, the Lakers have done more than enough to cement their place as a bonafide NBA contender.

One area where the Lakers have been better than anyone else in the NBA is their record against the spread (ATS) when playing on back-to-back nights. Most teams to tend to struggle in the second half of a back-to-back, but not the Lakers.

They have gone 7-1-0 in such games in 2019-20, covering the spread in a whopping 87.5 percent of their games. They are just one of two teams to accomplish that feat in at least 80 percent games, with the Oklahoma City Thunder being the other (ATS: 8-2-0, 80 percent).

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To make things even clearer, the Lakers’ +/- record in such spreads is an eye-popping +12.2, easily the best mark in the league as well. In short — it’s a smart move to bet on the Lakers to cover the spread every time they’re playing the final game of a back-to-back set.

There are many factors that can explain this, but the most obvious one is the team’s powerful offense. The Lakers rank as the seventh-best offense in the league with 114.3 points per game.

They are surprisingly balanced — they average 114.5 points per home game, and 114.2 per away matchup. The presence of players such as LeBron James and Anthony Davis certainly helps in this area.

James and Davis also are two prime examples of another area that boosts the Lakers’ performances when playing on back-to-back nights. The California-based franchise ranks 12th in possessions per game with 104.4; even though that ranks near the middle of the pack league-wide, they average less than four possession fewer than the Milwaukee Bucks, who lead the league in that category during the 2019-20 season. More possession lead to more scoring chances, and thus, more points.

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Last but not least, the Lakers also own the league’s fourth-best offensive rating (112.6), and that also boosts their nature of being involved in high-scoring games. The fact that they also own a Top 5 defensive rating (third-best at 105.5) allows them to come out on top more often than not, though.

Playing on back-to-back nights is never easy, but the Lakers seem to have figured things out. Especially when it comes to cover the spread, making them one of the most attractive teams in the league to play ATS regardless of the context behind a particular game.

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