76ers vs. Lakers: NBA Picks

PJ Laferla

Tuesday, January 1, 2013 2:02 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 2:02 PM GMT

The final NBA game of the evening on New Years day features the struggling Philadelphia 76ers going up against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center.

Find out who the odds favor in this contest and which team is the wiser play to make.

Lakers Host 76ers On New Years Day

The Philadelphia 76ers (14-17 SU, 7-8 ATS away) will be on the road for this first day in 2013, as they head to Tinsel Town for a match-up against the Los Angeles Lakers (15-15 SU, 8-8 ATS home) in a battle between two teams going in different directions.

Tip off is scheduled for 10:35 PM EST from the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles and can be seen live on television, with broadcast coverage provided by CSN.

Siding with the Lakers in this contest means you will have to lay -8 ½ points and if you are planning to make a play on the total, it will be yours to decide to go over or under 202 points.

After winning 12 of their first 21 games straight up, Philadelphia has gone through a span of losing eight of their next ten matchups and as a result are starting to fade in the Eastern Conference standings.

The 76ers feature one the top defenses in the league, as they are holding opponents to less than 96 points a night, which ranks 7th best in the association.

However, their offense has been a completely different story. Philadelphia only scores an average of 93 points per game, which ranks way down at the bottom of the list at 26th best in the NBA.

While it’s true defense wins games, you must be productive on offense to have a shot at being perennial contenders in this league.

During the 10 game span mentioned above, Philadelphia has only covered the point spread in 30% of their match-ups and when playing on the road, they are just 2-6 ATS going back to their last eight games away from the Wells Fargo Center. Even worse than both of those stats is their 1-9 ATS record in their last ten games versus Western Conference opponents.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are slowly moving in the right direction and are stating to play like we all expected prior to the season as they attempt to turn this NBA campaign around, with hopes of winning a championship.

Tonight they will attempt to win for the seventh time in eight tries and four in a row at the Staples Center.

Los Angeles may be a .500 team right now, but they boast one of the top offenses in the league, scoring 103 points per game, which is good for 5th best in the NBA.

[gameodds]5/133484/19-169-999996-198-93/us[/gameodds]

Still, with all the good starting to happen with the Lakers, they can’t seem to produce positive results against the spread.

They have only covered the point spread in four of their last ten overall, two of their last eight when facing a team from the Atlantic Division and 6 of 19 when playing at home against a team with a losing road record.

Free Pick

With the 76ers struggling on the road and the Lakers starting to gel as a unit – especially at home, the -8 ½ certainly seems like an achievable number to beat in front of their hometown fans. I believe the Lakers will get the job done tonight against Philadelphia for the straight up win and point spread cover. The Lakers will go on my ticket as one of my New Years Day NBA picks.

Free NBA Picks: Lakers -8 ½ at Bookmaker

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