NBA Picks: Hornets vs. Lakers Odds and Betting Predictions
by Darin Zank - 4/20/2011
We've had a couple of real shockers already in these NBA playoffs, and none was bigger than the New Orleans Hornets' 109-100 victory Sunday over the two-time defending NBA champion LA Lakers at Staples Center. That win gives New Orleans, the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, an early 1-0 lead in this first-round playoff series. So it will be the Lakers trying to avoid falling to 0-2 when the teams meet for Game 2 of their series Wednesday night in Los Angeles (10:30 p.m. EST, TNT).
LA, the No. 2 seed out West, was favored by right around 10.5 points for Sunday's series opener, but the Lakers never led by more than two points, and trailed the entire second half. The Hornets led by two after one quarter, by eight at the half and by a point after three, and then they made all the plays and shots down the stretch they needed to hang on, as the Lakers just could not stop New Orleans PG Chris Paul.
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Game 1 also cruised ‘over’ its posted total of 183 as New Orleans shot 52 percent from the floor.
New Orleans also amazingly committed just three turnovers all game.
Game 1 was very different from the previous four games these teams played during the regular season, all of which were won by the Lakers, by 15, four, six and 18 points, respectively. LA shot a combined 51 percent from the floor in those four games, while New Orleans shot just 44 percent. The Lakers were also favored by three, 7.5, five and nine points, respectively, in those games, and covered the spread three times.
LA fell into reliance upon Kobe Bryant on offense again on Sunday, which isn't usually a good sign for the Lakers. Bryant scored 34 points, taking 26 shots from the field. No other Laker shot more than nine times.
On the injury front, though, the Hornets may have taken a hit when C Aaron Gray turned an ankle late in Sunday's game. The former Pitt Panther averaged only three points per game during the regular season, but he had 12 points in 20 minutes Sunday, as Paul found him several times near the basket for scores. New Orleans was hoping that Gray would negate some of LA's size advantage down low. But as of Tuesday night his status for Wednesday is uncertain.
This series moved to New Orleans for Games 3 and 4 Friday and Sunday.
Hornets vs. Lakers Betting Odds and Trends
The Hornets are now 6-5 both straight-up and ATS since losing leading scorer David West for the season to a knee injury.
The ‘over/unders’ are 4-1 in Hornets-Lakers games this season, which have averaged 196 points per.
The Lakers are 13-5 SU but 6-12 ATS as double-digit favorites this season.
The Hornets are 1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS as double-digit underdogs this season.
NBA Picks: Hornets at Lakers Predictions
The Hornets played a great game Sunday in LA, as they found a weakness in the Lakers defense and had Paul exploit it. But that's something some film work may be able to fix, and we fully expect that to be the case Wednesday night. LA beat New Orleans twice this season by double-digits, and they should bounce back and win Game 2 Wednesday night. Take the Lakers, minus the points.
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