NBA Picks: Hawks vs. Lakers Betting Odds & Preview

Joe Catalano

Sunday, November 3, 2013 4:13 PM GMT

Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013 4:13 PM GMT

Starting the season off at 1-2 without Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles must dig deep Sunday night as they are underdogs at home against a very formidable Atlanta Hawks (1-1) basketball team.

Starting the season off at 1-2 without Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles must dig deep Sunday night as they are underdogs at home against a very formidable Atlanta Hawks (1-1) basketball team.

Tip-off is scheduled for Sunday, 9:30 pm ET at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Bet 365 Sportsbook lists the Hawks as a 2.5 point betting odds favorite and the total for the game is 204.5.

A Different Lakers Team

The Lakers might have gotten the best of the Los Angeles Clippers in their first meeting in their inner-city rivalry, but this is a team, without Bryant, that just doesn’t measure up to other teams in talent and are aging as I write this article.

No Kobe, No Win

It appears that this is the Lakers way when you have a point guard in Steve Nash that is well past his prime, quickly approaching 40 years of age, and basically the Lakers are starting a bunch of backups in Nick Young, Shawne Williams, and Steve Blake. The late Lakers owner, Dr. Jerry Buss, must be turning in his grave with a team like this in such large market area that’s enriched in history. There’s nothing to say other than this is a bad team with a head coach that will never win a championship.

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Respectable

I’m not going to fly off the handle and say that the Atlanta Hawks are a great team without Josh Smith, but they’re at least slightly above average. The Hawks welcome in Paul Millsap to the fold and thus far, Millsap has played fairly well. On the season, Millsap is averaging 17.5 points and is shooting 59.3% from the field. The one knock to his game is that he needs to crash the boards a little harder for such a big man.

The Hawks come into this game with some momentum after a 102-95 victory over the Toronto Raptors. In this game, Al Horford led the Hawks with 22 points and 16 rebounds. When Horford plays well, it’s a good sign for Atlanta and we should expect more of the same in the bright spotlight of Hollywood; Horford is a blue collar play that brings his lunch pail to work every game and produces.

Pau’s Team?

The Lakers will counteract the combination of Horford and Millsap with veteran Pau Gasol. Gasol is slightly past his prime, but we must remember that this is a player that contributed to 2 NBA Championships in his first 3 seasons with Los Angeles and is a highly skilled big man. Look for Nash or Blake to feed the big man regularly. Gasol is coming off of a 20 point, 11 rebound effort in the loss to San Antonio. In order to win this game, Los Angeles must come up with a 2nd option to Gasol. With Los Angeles having the support of the home town fans, this game should be close.

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Outcome

The Lakers starting lineup as it appears right now is an embarrassment. Steve Nash has come to Los Angeles for personal and not professional reasons. Being that he’s not nearly the player that he once was, you have to side with the Hawks in this game for my NBA picks.

Free Pick- Atlanta Hawks -2.5 at Bet 365

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