Free NBA Picks: Pacers at Lakers Odds
by Alan Matthews - 1/27/2014
You know how some members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins supposedly get together with a bottle of bubbly whenever the last unbeaten team in the NFL is beaten each season? Well, maybe one member of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (Dennis Rodman?) will do the same this week when the Indiana Pacers lose their 11th game of the year. That would obviously mean the Bulls' record of 72 wins would be safe for another year. I think that record is probably safe forever, and the Pacers obviously weren't going to break it.
In fact, Indiana has looked mortal of late in losing two of its past three games. Usually a visit to the Lakers isn't the best time to get off a bad streak, but these aren't your father's Lakers. Or even a slightly older brother's Lakers. This team stinks. If I'm Kobe Bryant, I'm not coming back this season but getting totally healthy for next year when the team may have added a big-name free agent (Carmelo Anthony?) and a high draft pick. With no Kobe around it would be easy for L.A. to get possibly the second-worst record in the NBA. I think the Bucks have the worst one locked down. The Lakers haven’t had a Top-10 pick since taking Andrew Bynum at No. 10 in 2005.
Pacers at Lakers Betting Story Lines
This is the time of year when a lot of NBA teams hit the proverbial wall as they look forward to the all-star break and a few nights off. That seems to be the case with Indiana. Defense is usually the first thing to go when teams are spent, and the Pacers, who lead the NBA in scoring defense at 90.2 points per game allowed, have given up triple digits in three straight games. Denver put up 109 in Saturday's 13-point victory. It's the first time this year that the Pacers have allowed 100-plus points in three straight games. They've only given up that many in six other ones. The one bright spot in that Denver loss was Lance Stephenson, who continues to make himself some money as a free agent this summer. He had 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists against Denver. Stephenson would look good in a Lakers uniform next season, but they already have a certain shooting guard. Stephenson leads all shooting guard in double-doubles this season. Meanwhile, center Roy Hibbert is in a funk. He's averaging only 7.8 points in the past five games and lasted just 20 minutes against Denver before fouling out.
The Lakers were hopeful that Steve Nash might play on Tuesday. The future Hall of Famer has been limited to six games and hasn't played since Nov. 10. Nash apparently had a setback with his back injury and didn't practice Monday. So he's pretty clearly not going to play. L.A. did get some rare good injury news on Monday in that an MRI on guard Jodie Meeks was negative, and he'll suit up. So will Pau Gasol despite sitting out Monday's practice. Kobe will see a doctor Tuesday as he works to get back before the All-Star Game.
This is L.A.'s first game at home since its season-high seven-game road trip as the Grammys took over Staples Center. Los Angeles lost the final four of that trip, capped by Sunday's 110-103 loss to the Knicks. It was the first time those marquee franchises had met with each at least 10 games under .500 since March 10, 1960. The Lakers are just 3-16 in their past 19.
Pacers at Lakers NBA Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, the Pacers opened as 9.5-point favorites with a total of 203. Indiana is 28-15 against the spread (12-9 on road) and 18-24-1 "over/under" (11-9-1 on road). The Lakers are 24-20-1 ATS (11-7-1 at home) and 26-19 O/U (9-10 at home). The Pacers are 1-6 ATS in their past seven road games. They are 1-4 ATS in their past five after an ATS loss. The Lakers are 4-0 ATs in their past four against teams with a winning record. The over is 6-0-1 in Indiana's past seven. The over is 8-0 in the Lakers' past eight. The road team is 5-0 ATS in the past five meetings. The over is 7-2 in the past nine.
Free NBA Picks: Pacers at Lakers Betting Predictions
This is the first meeting of the season. The Pacers always used to lose in L.A. but they have won their past three there after an 11-game losing streak to the Lakers at Staples Center. The teams split last season, each winning on the road. Five of the past nine meetings have been decided by three points or fewer. Teams generally play pretty well in their first game home after a long trip -- and not well in the finale of a long trip as will be the case with the Pacers -- and I think the Lakers will. I can't see a win, really, but a cover. Take the under despite all those interesting over trends above.
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