NBA Betting

CHICAGO BULLS at LOS ANGELES LAKERS
2011-12-22

Tip-off: Sunday, 5:00 p.m. EST

Line: Los Angeles -2, Total: 187.5



Two of the NBA’s title favorites meet up in Los Angeles when the Lakers host Chicago for the teams’ season opener on Christmas Day.



The Lakers are a team in flux. After missing out on Chris Paul, they seem to have taken a step backwards heading into the season. They sent valuable role player Lamar Odom to Dallas in exchange for a trade exception that should help them down the line, but won’t help them in this opener. And with C Andrew Bynum suspended, Odom would have come in handy in this game. Chicago comes in at full strength, and even added veteran SG Richard Hamilton, who looked sharp in preseason play. Considering the Bulls were 25-16 ATS on the road during the regular season last year, and the Lakers were just 15-26 ATS at home (16-30 ATS including the postseason) a year ago, CHICAGO is the pick.



The Lakers have some work to do to make up for the loss of Odom. PF Pau Gasol (18.8 PPG, 10.2 RPG), coming off a brutal postseason that landed him on the trade block, will have to handle the likes of Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer inside. Gasol also might have to take on a more significant offensive role with Kobe Bryant (25.3 PPG) suffering from a torn ligament in his wrist.



The young Bulls should have plenty of energy for this one, and their defense (tops in the NBA in defensive efficiency last year) should carry them against Los Angeles. While reigning MVP PG Derrick Rose (25.0 PPG) seemed to fade a bit down the stretch, he should thrive against a Lakers team that, with Bynum out, has no one to protect the basket. Noah (10.4 RPG) and Boozer (17.5 PPG, 9.6 RPG) figure to control the interior, and SF Luol Deng (17.4 PPG) is capable of containing Bryant. The arrival of Hamilton (14.1 PPG with Detroit) just makes their second unit that much better.




NBA: Charlotte at Indiana (7:00 PM ET, FSN)
2010-03-16

The Charlotte Bobcats are brimming with confidence after extending their winning streak on the road against one of the league’s be Apuestas NFL st teams. With more tough opponents on the way, Stephen Jackson insists the Bobcats won’t overlook one of the league’s worst teams, especially after losing the last meeting. Jackson looks to help Charlotte win seven straight games for the first time in franchise history and avenge a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Charlotte is a 2-point road favorite at Sportsbook.com.

The Bobcats (34-31, 36-29 ATS) matched the team record for consecutive victories (covering five of six) with an impressive 96-89 win in Orlando on Sunday. Charlotte, which also won six straight Jan. 9-20, was playing without All-Star Gerald Wallace (left ankle), yet still managed to end a seven-game losing streak to the Magic.
The Bobcats are one percentage point ahead of Miami for the sixth seed, and two games up on eighth-place Toronto. Coming into tonight, Charlotte is 17-7 ATS after covering two of their last three against the spread this season.

Jackson is averaging 21.0 points during the six-game streak, and Charlotte is 31-25 with him in the lineup after starting the season 3-7. “If he is not an All-Star in this league, I don’t know who is,” Charlotte’s Theo Ratliff said. “It is time people recognize what he does on the floor.”

Jackson is also trying to keep the Bobcats focused on the Pacers (21-45, 30-35-1 ATS), and not get distracted with a schedule that features a home game against Oklahoma City on Wednesday followed by contests in Atlanta on Friday and Miami on Saturday. He believes it shouldn’t be tough to get motivated to play an Indiana team that has the East’s second-worst record, considering the Pacers defeated Charlotte 101-98 on Dec. 16.

“(Indiana) beat us already at their place, but we have a different mind-set right now,” said Jackson, who played for the Pacers for 2 1/2 seasons. “We want to win and know what’s at stake. We can’t lay an egg and have to come out with a win - that’s everybody’s focus.” The Pacers have taken seven of last 10 meetings in Indianapolis, yet are 1-9 ATS against Charlotte on their home floor.

While the Pacers got the better of the Bobcats three months ago, they haven’t had much luck lately. Indiana lost to Milwaukee 98-94 on Sunday, its sixth defeat in seven games and 13th in 16 (8-7-1 ATS). The Pacers cut a 12-point deficit to two with 30 seconds to play but couldn’t get any closer. The final score was far below the total set of 203 and Indiana is 12-23 ATS after one or more consecutive Under’s this season.

Sportsbook.com has Charlotte as two-point favorites with total of 197.5 and the Bobcats are 11-3 ATS versus defensive teams allowing 103 or more points a game this season. (Pacers surrender 104.7 PPG) Charlotte is 23-13 OVER against teams that score 99 or more points a contest. Indiana will look to make a game of this in spite of recent desultory play and is 34-22 ATS off a road loss over the last two seasons, losing by 1.1 points a game.

This Eastern Conference matchup begins at 7:00 Eastern on Sports South and FSIN, with the Pacers 7-2 OVER as an underdog of 4.5 or less points.

The StatFox Power Line shows Charlotte by 3