Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Lakers Prediction: 2021 NBA Playoffs Round 1 Bet Tips & Pick

Last Updated: May 22, 2021

Here are The Game Day’s predictions and bets for the 2021 NBA Playoffs Western Conference First Round series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns in our Lakers vs Suns preview.

Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Lakers Prediction: 2021 NBA Playoffs Round 1 Bet Tips & Pick

Phoenix Suns 2020-2021 Season Recap

The Suns are coming off a dominant regular season that saw them go 51-21 and finish one win shy of the NBA’s top record. The arrival of Chris Paul turned Phoenix into a legitimate contender this season, giving its offense an elite facilitator and taking some of the load off Devin Booker. With other scoring threats such as Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges, the Suns have a well-rounded offense that can score from down low and on the perimeter.

While Paul helped take the offense to the next level, the biggest improvement for Phoenix was actually on defense. The Suns went from 20th in points per game allowed the previous year to 7th this year, which is notable for a franchise that hasn’t been known for its defense in recent years. Armed with a top-10 offense and top-10 defense, Phoenix enters the postseason as one of the NBA’s most well-rounded teams.

Los Angeles Lakers 2020-2021 Season Recap

The reigning NBA champs slogged through their title defense this year, losing LeBron James and Anthony Davis for large chunks of the season and ultimately finishing at 42-30. Los Angeles barely made it back to the postseason, squeaking past the Golden State Warriors in the play-in game to secure the 7-seed.

While the Lakers suffered on offense without James and Davis, they still finished as one of the NBA’s top defensive units this year, yielding the second-fewest points per game. That lockdown defense carried Los Angeles to the playoffs, especially during the second half when James was limited to a handful of games by an ankle injury. Andre Drummond and Dennis Schröder also deserve credit for picking up the slack in his absence.

The Lakers are back at full strength for the playoffs, though, and ready to defend their title in earnest. With their offensive stars back in the fold and a strong defense behind them, they’re once again one of the NBA’s most dangerous teams.

Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Lakers Matchup

Both teams are coming into this series on a roll, as the Lakers have won their last six in a row while the Suns have won nine of their last 12 games. Phoenix took the season series, 2-1, but Los Angeles won their most recent meeting two weeks ago.

This matchup will be interesting because while the Suns have been better on offense, the Lakers are superior defensively. Phoenix has the better backcourt with Paul and Booker, but Los Angeles has more size down low. Each side has a veteran superstar (Paul, James) as well as a younger superstar (Davis, Booker) supported by talented role players, making this series something of a toss-up.

Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Lakers Prediction

Phoenix Suns Win Series 4-3

This is a hard series to pick a winner of, but the offensive depth of the Suns will prove to be too much. Phoenix has the benefits of home-court advantage and additional rest, both of which could be deciding factors if this series goes the distance. This Lakers team is probably the best 7-seed in playoff history, and picking against LeBron is always risky, but the Suns are better-positioned to take this series.

Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Lakers Bet Pick

Phoenix Suns To Win Series (+125)

Suns vs Lakers Bet odds and lines courtesy of BetMGM. BetMGM has a welcome offer for a Risk-Free Bet of up to $600. Use promo code THEGAMEDAY or click here to sign up for a new account.

Extremely tough call here, but Phoenix is the better team right now. The Suns’ youth and high-powered offense will be too much for the aging Lakers to overcome, and Phoenix’s defense will be able to slow LeBron down just enough. After narrowly surviving the Golden State game, Los Angeles is likely to get bounced in the first round.


Nate Bush

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