Houston Rockets Vs. Los Angeles Lakers 1/8/13 Jorge’s Free NBA Basketball Pick Against the Spread
The Lakers come into tonight on a 0-3 skid ATS, while the Rockets have won and covered their last 4. Despite all of the attention they have received this season, it’s still hard to fathom that the LA Lakers are now 3 games below .500. On paper this side should be championship contenders but they just don’t click as a team. In stark comparison to the Lakers, the Rockets are lacking the star calibre (with the exception of James Harden of course), but they do everything a team needs to do to succeed, and their 20-13 record is proof of this. One thing is certain though, while the Lakers are stinking it up now they most certainly will improve and start finding that winning formula. Will it be tonight in Houston?
I’d love to be able to give you some stats to give you some confidence in the Lakers, but unfortunately, they’re non-existent. The Lakers are currently 1-4 ATS in their last 5, 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 coming off straight up losses and a staggering 2-15 ATS in their last 17 Tuesday games. There’s a lot of angles you could look at as to why this star-studded team aren’t producing, and I hate to point the finger, but this has got to be the coach. I mean, if you’re playing a game of chess and all of your pawns were queens, and you lost, would you blame the pieces? Surely not. With Kobe, Dwight, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol on this team, Mike D’Antoni should be winning games like nobody’s business, but he just doesn’t know how to use them. Sure, they looked good against the Clippers late, but it was too late. They desperately need 3 or 4 days off to get back to the drawing board and come up with a different approach, but I’m not sure there’s enough time to develop anything new between Sunday’s home loss to the Nuggets and tonight.
The Rockets are almost the antithesis of the Lakers. They don’t have a star-studded lineup, and nobody gave them any credit to start the season. They’re getting about 3 times the output from Omer Asik as the Chicago Bulls were getting, you’ve got Chandler Parsons and Tony Douglas stepping up, and then you’ve got Jeremy Lin playing a much better, team oriented brand of ball compared to what most thought this guy was capable of. Oh, and that guy James Harden is OK too, I guess. The Rockets are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall, 8-1 ATS following an ATS win, 7-1 ATS in their last 8 coming off the back of a 100+ point game… the amazing stats go on and on. Oh, and they’re averaging 111 points in their last 11 games.
Make no mistake about it, I am a huge fan of this Rockets team. Not in the sense that I want them to win because they’re my team, but in the sense that I love them because I keep backing them and they just keep covering. Their totals are the most staggering part about them, and I’ve been eyeing this one off for a few days now. Honestly, I was willing to play anything up to about 220, as crazy as that sounds. The fact is the Rockets are absolute scoring machines, and the Lakers (themselves averaging 106 in their last 11) just don’t play defence. Even if this one doesn’t go over, the over is 5-1 in the last 6 Rockets games, so don’t jump off the bandwagon just yet.
With the over being 8-1 in the last 9 between these 2, I am eagerly awaiting the release of the line which is surely not out because of injuries to Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol who will both miss tonight’s game. I think the books will be taking more action on a side rather than total because of the missing big men, and my strong lean prior to even seeing a number is over here. If anything, Gasol and Howard missing should see both teams score more.
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