Will Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers rebound against the beat up Houston Rockets? The lines have just been released, and the Lakers have been installed at three point favorites. Who are we expecting to pick up the cover?
Sportsbooks have given Houston the underdog tag tonight and NBA odds makers are giving them a
three-point head start on the Lakers. At the time of writing, the matchup's total has been listed at 192.
L.A. won the earlier meeting this season back at Staples
Center 108-98, barely covering the 7.5 points on the NBA betting lines.
Kobe was an absolute monster, recording 37 points (14-of-29
FG), eight rebounds and six assists. Andrew Bynum was also impressive, putting
up 21 points, 22 rebounds and three blocks.
Houston may have won out in fast break points, but the
Rockets were completely dominated on the boards and had no way to stop Bynum
down low. Despite the loss, Kyle Lowry was one assist away from a triple-double;
he finished with 22 points, 10 boards and nine dimes.
Rockets rocked by health issues
The Rockets have been struggling here lately, trying to do
their best despite injuries to both Lowry and Kevin Martin.
They had won three of four prior, including an outstanding
road victory over Oklahoma City, but they've lost two straight now ahead of
The Lakers are also coming off a loss, but it came at home
to Utah. Kobe was a miserable 3-of-20 from the field and finished with more turnovers
(seven) than rebounds (six) and assists (four).
Even so, the Lakers remain top dogs in the Pacific division
with a 1.5-game lead on Chris Paul and the Clippers, who will play at Indiana
tonight and then at Oklahoma City tomorrow. This is a great chance for L.A. to
build up a bigger lead in the standings.
And while the Rockets have come together nicely as a team
with this shorthanded rotation, I still like the Lakers to win and cover in
this spot. Goran Dragic has done well his extended minutes, but him and
Courtney Lee on the perimeter doesn't even come close to what Lowry and Martin
can bring on the offensive end.
Kobe will be out to plow through everything in sight after
that clunker against the Jazz, and after what he did versus the Rockets earlier
this year you have to like the chances of him doing so.
Fourth straight road W for Lakers?
I'm also really liking the pickup of Ramon Sessions, a
skilled guard who can create shots for both himself and others. That move will
definitely help an L.A. bench that ranks last in scoring production.
Plus, with Bynum having a career year and Gasol, who has
eight double-doubles in his last nine games, still doing his thing too, it'd be
a surprise if the Lakers didn't exploit the Rockets in the post game once more.
You know how everyone talked about the Lakers and their
terrible fortunes on the road? Well they've actually won three straight away
from L.A. and have covered the spread in all three of those victories too. I
know, I'm as shocked as you are.
That said, I think the Lakers can pick up another road win
tonight against a Houston team that's 3-8 SU and ATS over the past 11 games.
FREE Pick: L.A. Lakers -3
Lakers are 8-17 ATS in their last 25 road games
Rockets are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games overall
OVER is 6-1 in L.A.'s last 7 games overall
OVER is 8-2 in Houston's last 10 games overall
OVER is 5-0 in the last 5 head-to-head meetings