Bucks vs. Lakers NBA expert prediction and odds for Friday, March 8 (How to bet total)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Milwaukee Bucks-Los Angeles Lakers matchup on Friday.

 Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves (15) defends Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves (15) defends Giannis Antetokounmpo. / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers both suffered bad losses on Wednesday night, but they’ll look to put it behind them on Friday in a primetime meeting. 

LeBron James left the Lakers’ loss to the Sacramento Kings early with an ankle injury, but he is listed as questionable for tonight’s contest. 

Meanwhile, the Bucks were dominated by the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday and would love a bounce-back win to keep pace for the No. 2 seed in the East. 

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How should we wager on this marquee matchup? First, let’s break down the odds, key players and injury reports for tonight’s game: 

Bucks vs. Lakers odds, spread and total

Bucks vs. Lakers how to watch

  • Date: Friday, March 8
  • Time: 10:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Crypto.com Arena
  • How to watch (TV): ESPN
  • Bucks record: 41-22
  • Lakers record: 34-30

Bucks vs. Lakers injury reports

Bucks injury report

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo – probable
  • Jaylin Galloway – out
  • Chris Livingston – out
  • Khris Middleton – out
  • Ryan Rollins – out
  • TyTy Washington – out

Lakers injury report

  • Collin Castleton – out
  • LeBron James – questionable
  • Anthony Davis – probable
  • Cam Reddish – probable
  • Gabe Vincent – out
  • Jarred Vanderbilt – out
  • Christian Wood – out

Bucks vs. Lakers key players to watch

Milwaukee Bucks

Damian Lillard: Over his last 11 games, Lillard is averaging 22.4 points and 6.4 assists per game while shooting 41.6 percent from the field and 36.6 percent from 3-point range. He scored 41 in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers, but Lillard’s efficiency has been lower than his career averages this season, especially since the start of February. 

Los Angeles Lakers

Anthony Davis: This is a major matchup for Anthony Davis against the size of the Bucks in the paint between Brook Lopez and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Davis didn’t do a great job against the Kings and Domantas Sabonis, allowing the big man to grab 20 boards. AD is averaging 24.8 points and 12.3 rebounds per game this season. 

Bucks vs. Lakers prediction and pick

With James’ status up in the air, I’m looking at the total in this game, as there are a couple of trends that support and UNDER on Friday night. 

Starting with the Bucks, who play at one of the faster paces in the NBA (No. 5 in the league), they are shockingly one of the best UNDER teams when playing on the road this season. 

In 31 road games, the Bucks are 19-11-1 on UNDERs, and the team is down one of its leading scorers in Middleton tonight. 

The Lakers are also hitting the UNDER at home more often than not, going 17-14-1 in that spot. 

With James questionable, there’s a chance we see a depleted Lakers offense if he ends up sitting. If he plays, I expect the intensity on both sides to be ratcheted up with both teams contending for playoff positioning. 

Even with the Bucks pushing the pace on the season overall, they are just 19th in that statistic over their last 10 games. I’ll roll with the UNDER in this primetime matchup. 

Pick: UNDER 232.5 (-110)

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.