The extended lockout not only shortened the season, it has turned some NBA betting trends on their head. We try to navigate a better path with today’s NBA picks.

Washington Wizards vs. Charlotte Bobcats

Who says the two worst teams in the league won't put on a good game? It could be a good game for your wallet. The Bobcats are on a terrible losing streak. They have lost seven in a row and have won two of their last fifteen. They have also been hampered with injury. Tonight, Charlotte will be without Correy Maggette and D.J. White once again, and will almost certainly be without their starting point guard, D.J. Augustin. Other players such as Byron Mullens and Gerald Henderson have been banged up and the Bobcats haven't broken the 80 point barrier in their last three games.

While most consider the Wizards the worst team; I believe it is by far the Bobcats. The Wizards' problem of Flip Saunders is gone. They have the talent to compete with most teams on most nights, while the Bobcats' injury and offensive concerns will put them behind in almost every game. Just this past Wednesday in Washington, the Wizards dismantled the Bobcats 92-75. Both teams played last night as well, and both were on the road traveling last night. 

My Pick: Wizards -2

Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz

I'm following fellow handicapper Joe Freda with this once. When I saw the NBA odds open up with this total below 200 points at 195.5, I had the urge to jump at it. The Jazz had both of their banged up players in the game last night, including Al Jefferson; their leading scorer. The Jazz have broken the 100 point mark in nine of their seventeen games this season, which is good for ranking them 10th in scoring this season. The Kings on the other hand; all they do is score. They remind me of a Euro-League team with all offense and zero defense. They rank dead last in the NBA in total points allowed at a mind boggling 102.6 allowed per game. They have either scored or allowed 100 points in 13 of their 19 games this season. For a more detailed report on the total for this one, take a look at Freda's article for tonight's late game in Salt Lake City. However, I'll go ahead and say it, lock in the over before it shoots upwards.

My Pick: 'over' 195.5

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks played last night and were competitive to the end playing the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. They lost by seven, and then had to travel back home for their date with the Lakers. The sportsbooks have this line only favoring the Lakers by -4.5. This is because the Lakers are only 2-8 ATS versus the Bucks over the last six seasons. However, the Lakers are 2-1 ATS in their last three games against the Bucks. Even though the history between these two teams favors the Bucks, I'm siding with the Lakers. Without their anchor in the middle in Andrew Bogut, the Bucks will fall short (no pun intended) against the talented front line of the Lakers. Los Angeles has had plenty of time to rest up after their 96-91 win against the Clippers on Wednesday. That will just be an added luxury for LA. This will only be Los Angeles' 2nd game in six days; which is almost unheard of in this season. For the Bucks, it will be their 4th game in six days. Look for the fresh Lakers to take down the tired Bucks.

My Pick: Lakers -4.5