Free NBA Picks for Nets vs. Lakers

Jordan Sharp

Sunday, February 23, 2014 2:43 PM GMT

Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014 2:43 PM GMT

The Nets help close out the NBA evening with a matchup in LA against the Lakers tonight, and the NBA Odds have the Nets as slight road favorites of -2 ½, with a total of 204 ½. The Warriors edged out Brooklyn last night in Oakland, but going against the Lakers tonight, will they bounce back and get the cover, or will LA come to play?

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Boom Boom Pau

Pau Gasol made his return to the Lakers’ lineup a few nights ago, and his presence was and still is desperately needed for the Lakers. Now that the trade cloud is off of his head and he knows where he’ll be living for the next few weeks, I think Pau is going to start playing better and continue carrying the Lakers while Kobe Bryant is out.

Tonight, his defense in the middle should be welcome for the Lakers, and even though Gasol isn’t a great defender on his own, he is a lot better than most on the Lakers right now. Playing the Nets tonight should be a feast for Pau on both ends. He is a several inches taller than anyone on Brooklyn, and the Nets are coming off a tough game last night, and they have no one who can defend Pau the entire game. Kevin Garnett will be able to do it in spurts, but after him the Nets will have to rely on Andray Blatche to defend Gasol, and that is a mismatch.

However across the board, these teams matchup pretty well with one another outside of Gasol, and that is why the spread is off limits for me tonight. Instead, I think a wager on the total might be the better way to go tonight, because with the Nets in town, the game might slow down a lot, and lead to the total being a bit overvalued.

NBA Betting Trends in Eastern Conference

NBA Betting Trends in Western Conference

The Sharp Pick

The Nets have not been great off the back to back this season. They are 5-7 ATS playing on no rest, and they have cashed the under at 7-5 this season when playing their second game in two nights.

Gasol being back for the Lakers may seem like it will lead to the over being the play, however with Gasol back, it allows the Lakers to play the Nets on their terms. LA will run everything through Gasol tonight, and if that’s the case, we won’t see a ton of fast breaks, which are what normally leads to high scores. The Nets will force the Lakers to play half court offense and defense tonight, and it could really enhance the under value tonight.

LA is 14-12 cashing the under at home this season, and even though these two teams don’t play one another often, their matchups in the past have almost all been low scoring games. The under has cashed in the last seven matchups in a row between Brooklyn and LA. Even though that dates back into the New Jersey Nets days, it’s still a trend we have to keep in mind tonight. The under is 7-0-1 in the last eight times these two have played one another overall.

The Nets and Lakers played to a final score of 99-94 way back in November in Brooklyn, and a similar score tonight wouldn’t surprise me. Take the under and add it to your Sunday NBA Picks.

NBA Pick: UNDER 204 ½ 

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