The Los Angeles Lakers are 3-2 straight up and against the spread in their last five games after going just 11-49 straight up through their first 60 games of the season. The Lakers will try to pull off another surprising upset this Thursday night when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers at Staples Center.
Despite Cleveland's recent struggles, the Cavaliers are still a top contender on the odds to win the NBA Championship in 2016 going off at +325 to do so at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Cavaliers are a -350 favorite to win the Eastern Conference.
Los Angeles shocked the basketball world with one of the biggest upsets of all time last weekend, defeating the Golden State Warriors 112-95 as a 17.5-point home underdog. The Lakers had no letdown in their following game, pulling off another home upset as a 4-point underdog in a 107-98 win over Orlando.
As the end of Kobe Bryant's illustrious career gets closer, the young Lakers seem to be playing their best basketball of the season.
Since ending the month of January with 10 straight losses, the Lakers have at least been competitive over the last few weeks. Los Angeles is 10-5 ATS over its last 15 games with four outright betting upsets over that stretch per the OddsShark NBA Database.
While the Lakers were on the right side of a big upset earlier in the week, the Cleveland Cavaliers were on the wrong side of one. The Cavaliers were at home against a Memphis Grizzlies team decimated by injuries, but still stumbled to a 106-103 loss as a 15-point favorite at home.
Entering its four-game road trip starting in Sacramento on Wednesday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers were just 4-4 SU and 3-5 ATS over their last eight games despite being favored in all eight of those games.
Thursday's game would normally be viewed as a gimme for a team of the Cavaliers' stature, but Cleveland hasn't been playing the dominant role very well of late. The Lakers are a dangerous young team suddenly playing with a bit of confidence, and Cleveland will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Cavaliers can't afford to look ahead to their next game against the Clippers with the pesky Lakers still at hand.