Free NBA Picks for Rockets vs. Lakers Tonight

David Lawrence

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 1:03 PM GMT

The Lakers & Kobe Bryant are six-point home dogs on the NBA betting lines against the Houston Rockets on opening night of the 2014-15 NBA season. 

Be sure to check out our Free NBA Picks of the Day for Opening Night.

The Houston Rockets Will Win Because…
Their opponent just doesn’t have much in its arsenal. This is definitely the kind of game in which you should bet on one team not because of that team itself, but because of the opponent that team is facing. This is not about Houston or how good it might be, but how bad the Los Angeles Lakers are right now and how bad they’re probably going to be over the course of the full 82-game season. The Lakers don’t have Pau Gasol anchoring the team in the paint anymore. They don’t have Steve Nash now that the Canadian has a broken down body and a back that gave way before the season started, likely ending what will ultimately be a Hall of Fame career. The Lakers don’t have very many pieces at all. Los Angeles has players that were either bench guys on other NBA teams or veterans trying to find a landing spot later in their careers. Prime examples of the bench guys on other teams are Wayne Ellington and Ed Davis, who have meandered over to the Lakers from other clubs in the Association. A prime example of an old veteran trying to continue a career with the Lakers is Carlos Boozer, who noticeably declined in the past few seasons with the Chicago Bulls. The Lakers are a decaying organization that has only Kobe Bryant to rely on for consistent production and leadership. Houston should be able to handle this game, especially with Dwight Howard operating in the paint against inferior competition.

 

The Los Angeles Lakers Will Win Because…
They're playing a Houston team that is going to be appreciably worse than it was last season. The Rockets have clearly taken a step back – there’s no question about this. Losing Chandler Parsons while not getting Chris Bosh has taken Houston down a few pegs. The Rockets watched Parsons grow into a complete player at both ends of the court, and now that versatility is gone. James Harden is a great scorer, but he is one of the worst defenders in the league, for the very simple reason that he just doesn’t try hard enough on defense, and head coach Kevin McHale – who looked in over his head at times last season – can’t seem to convince him to play all-out all the time.

Houston is also going to play this game watching a former Rocket, Jeremy Lin, lace up the sneakers for the Lakers. Lin will team up with Kobe Bryant to form a backcourt tandem that has a chance to work well together. Lin could give Kobe the ball in the right spots, creating movement and flow in the Lakers’ halfcourt offense. If Lin plays well, Kobe will probably play well, and that’s how Los Angeles can win.

 

Outlook
Dwight Howard is going to destroy the Lakers near the basket. Houston is going to dominate this game near the rim and have a field day in the painted area. Although the Lakers will be fired up with Kobe’s return, they are a flawed team, so take the Rockets on the NBA betting lines for your NBA pick.

Free NBA Pick: Houston -6 at The Greek

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