Late NBA Picks: Hawks & Lakers Game Will Go 'Under' 206 Tonight

Jordan Sharp

Friday, March 4, 2016 4:31 PM GMT

Friday, Mar. 4, 2016 4:31 PM GMT

The Hawks are heading into LA tonight to play the Lakers, and the NBA Odds makers have the Hawks as -9 road favorites in this one, with a total of 208 points. Can the Lakers’ hang tough in this one?

To Kobe Or Not To Kobe?
Kobe Bryant was limited to only 11 minutes of action in the Lakers’ last game against the Nuggets, and he ended up sitting out the entire second half with a shoulder injury. Reports out of LA are that Bryant is feeling some clicking in his shoulder, and seeing as he has been limited by that same shoulder at times during the season, it would surprise me to see him play here this evening at home against the Hawks.

While I’m sure the people who bought tickets to the game might be disappointed, it’s probably not as important if Bryant sits out a home game than it is a road game. The people of LA have seen tons of Kobe over the years, and while I’m sure he will do everything that he can to play tonight, I doubt he suits up. As always though, make sure you double check his status heading into tonight’s game, because it could have a big affect on our NBA Picks for the game, as well as the NBA Odds.

In games that Bryant has not played this season, the Lakers have predictably been pretty bad on offense. In the last six games that Bryant has missed this season, the Lakers have scored only 91 points per game in those six games. While the Hawks aren’t the defensive team they were last season, they still have the ability to lock down a Lakers team potentially without Bryant tonight. Even in the Lakers’ first game against the Hawks this season in Atlanta, Bryant played 35 minutes in that game, but the Lakers still only scored 87 points in the loss. The total of 206 easily went under in that game, and the total has now gone under in their last two meetings against one another. If Bryant sits out again tonight, it might be a great opportunity to play the under, because at 208, this total is way too high for a game that one of the teams might not get to 90 points.

 

The Sharp Pick
The Hawks come into this one cashing the under at 3-0-1 in their last four games, while the Lakers have now cashed the under in three of their last five overall games. The Hawks are also 2-0-1 in their last three road games cashing the under, and a big reason for their recent successes has been their renewed commitment to the defensive end. If you take away their most recent game against the Warriors, which of course they were going to give up some points, Atlanta allowed only 88 and 76 points in their two prior games to the Golden State one, so even if the Hawks end up dropping 120 points on LA tonight, the total could easily still go under.

The Lakers are 17-10 cashing the under this season at home, while the Hawks are 12-8 this season cashing the under as road favorites. On top of that, these two teams are a combined 27-19 cashing the under in non-conference games this season. Look for the under to be a valuable wager for this final game of the evening.

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NBA Pick: UNDER 206
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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