NBA Picks: Lakers vs. Suns

Steven Suarez

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 3:11 PM GMT

Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 3:11 PM GMT

Are the Lakers finally starting to figure it out? Winners of three straight, Kobe and company will now aim to keep the good times rolling on the road. Will L.A. take care of business against Phoenix, or should we add the Suns to our NBA picks tonight?

Odds Overview

Considering the amount of talent on L.A.'s roster, as well as the fact they're one of the most popular teams in the world, it's no surprise to see that the NBA odds list the Lakers as the favorite here on the road despite an underwhelming 20-25 overall record.

Currently the O/U is trading at 201.5, with the OVER having hit the mark in four straight clashes between these Pacific Division foes.

[gameodds]5/157395/43/us[/gameodds]

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers couldn't have asked for a better home-stand as they were able to win all three games, including a statement victory over Oklahoma City this past weekend.

Last night they held on to beat New Orleans 111-106, though they didn't come through for backers as eight-point favorites.

Kobe Bryant continued his new role as a facilitator, dishing out a team-high 11 assists to go along with 14 points and eight rebounds. Meanwhile, Dwight Howard had 24 points, four boards, five steals and four blocks and Earl Clark finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

In these past three wins for L.A., Kobe has totaled 39 assists. It looks as if he finally realizes he has to get others involved and feeling good about their games if the Lakers are to have any chance of fulfilling those lofty expectations.

We're interested to see if this new trend continues out on the road though. The Lakers have been brutal away from home, going 5-15 SU and 6-13-1 ATS.

Phoenix Suns

Lindsey Hunter's reign as coach has quickly come back down to earth after he guided the Suns to two straight wins. Since then, Phoenix has dropped two in a row by an average margin of 12 points, with both losses coming on the road.

Maybe a little rest will help out. The Suns have been off since Sunday's 110-95 loss to Dallas.

The Mavericks jumped all over Phoenix from the opening tip and it was hard for the visitors to recover. Goran Dragic did his best to make things interesting, ending up with 18 points, eight assists and four boards. However,  it was a disappointing night for the inside duo of Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat, who combined for just 22 points and 12 rebounds between them.

Simply put, Phoenix has to get more out of those two if they're to beat the Lakers tonight, particularly since Dwight Howard is back in the lineup. Howard was a menacing presence in the post in the first meeting this season, finishing with 18 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots.

We're also intrigued to see how well Dragic plays against his former mentor. He did well (22 points and seven assists) against the Lakers in November, but Steve Nash still hadn't returned from his broken leg.

For a pick on this game's total be sure to check out our NBA Picks: Wednesday Value Picks

NBA Pick

The Lakers have finally built up some momentum and the drama seems to have subsided for now. But, NBA bettors need not forget how bad they've been on the road, especially as of late.

Mike D'Antoni's team has gone 1-6 ATS in their last seven road contests, but luckily they run into a Phoenix squad that's covered in just one of their last five home games.

We'd still like to see a bigger sample size before we deem that all of the Lakers' problems are figured out. That's even more true on the road, where they've lost seven in a row heading into tonight's game in the desert.

You know the Suns are going to get up for this game, and the fact they've had 48 hours of rest should prove to be beneficial too. Unsurprisingly, nearly all sports picks are coming in on the Lakers here, but we like Phoenix to cover against an L.A. team that's still having major problems defensively.

NBA Picks: Phoenix Suns +2.5

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