NBA Picks: Monday Night Value Picks

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 2:43 PM GMT

After a bit of slump, I had a nice 2-0 day yesterday, and let the momentum continue as I bring you my NBA Picks of the Day.

With just 5 games on tonight's slate, let's see if we can make this a profitable, all while beating the NBA betting lines in the process.

Los Angeles Lakers (15-18) at Houston Rockets (20-14)

This game is just too good to pass up, and we know that the reason for the delay in odds is due to the absence of Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, and Jordan Hill for the Lakers.

This has been an awful stretch for Los Angeles, and there have already been talks of moving Dwight Howard to the New Jersey Nets. The Nets tried three times before the season started to get Howard and were unsuccessful. Now, they wouldn't touch Howard with a ten foot pole.

Howard has acquired the label of being a complainer, and teammate Kobe Bryant almost came to blows with "Superman". The Lakers are a team in turmoil, and they are looking for any help they can get. They are now asking Pau Gasol to shoot corner jumpers. That's not Pau's game and his stats and the Lakers record indicates that. The Lakers are left with Kobe Bryant putting up 20 shots per game and averaging over 30 points per game. Statistically, that looks great for Bryant, but this is a team, and L.A. can't win that way.

The Nash experiment

Kobe Bryant refers to Nash as "Gatsby" due to his new Hollywood haircut. Maybe Nash should take it on the road to Broadway because he's been hurt for most of the season and has been underperforming. On the season, Nash is averaging just 10.2 points and 8.8 assists. Maybe "Gatsby" is simply too old to be effective in the NBA after an illustrious career.

It won't get any better for L.A. as James Harden and his 26.4 points per game host the Lakers at the Toyota Center. The Rockets rank number 1 in offense at 106.2 points per game. This team can also rebound well with double-double man, Omer Asik. Add in the fine passing of Jeremy Lin, and this spells disaster for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Look for the Rockets to be a moderate NBA odds favorite in this game, so take Houston in what looks to be a great position, as the Lakers are without Gasol and Howard.

NBA Picks: Houston Rockets

[gameodds]5/133806/19-43-999996-1096-238-93/us[/gameodds]

Brooklyn Nets (19-15) at Philadelphia 76'ers (15-20)

The odds makers expect this to be a tight game, as they have Philly has a 1.5 point betting favorite and the total is 187.

The Nets are the better ball club, but they are on the road and the Sixers are 9-7 at home. That said, the Nets have won 3 straight games, while Philadelphia has lost 3 straight. It looks like owner Mikael Prokhorov made a brilliant decision in getting rid of Avery Johnson so early in the season and replacing him with P.J. Carlesimo as interim coach.

I once said that Brooklyn is Brook Lopez's team, and I still believe that. Lopez is coming off of another productive game in a 20 point victory over Sacramento. Lopez's one weakness to his game is rebounding, but Andray Blatche has been the perfect buffer for this situation. Blatche is coming off of a 11 rebound game against the Kings while Lopez is averaging 23.3 points over his last 3 games.

The Nets will need help from point guard, Deron Williams. Williams has been hesitant in shooting the basketball and we can see why. He's shooting just 40.3% from the field and has been inconsistent all season. Along with Joe Johnson, this combination has been an unreliable nightmare all season where consistency is concerned.

For Philadelphia, point guard, Jrue Holiday has held this team together with a breakout season. On the season, Holiday is averaging 18.4 points, 8.9 assists, and 4.3. Holiday is a borderline elite point guard.

The problem for Philadelphia is that they don't have that reliable center that every team covets. Spencer Hawes is either hurt or under producing. Hawes is averaging 9.5 points and 6 rebounds per game. This is not good enough to deal with the Brook Lopez's of the NBA.

Look for the Nets to squeeze out a close win on the road.

NBA Picks: Brooklyn Nets +1.5 at 5 Dimes

[gameodds]5/133803/19-43-999996-1096-238-93/us[/gameodds]