NBA Picks: Wizards vs. Lakers

Joe Freda

Friday, March 22, 2013 11:24 AM GMT

Friday, Mar. 22, 2013 11:24 AM GMT

The Los Angeles Lakers have held foes to 94.7 PPG in their last six matchups, with the UNDER cashing at 5-1. Can they do it again for our NBA picks tonight?

Friday’s NBA betting has Mike D’Antoni’s club returning to action on three days of rest against the Washington Wizards, who have surged in scoring with 106.2 PPG over five outings. 

Will the Lakers stay tight here for another UNDER ticket, or can the Wizards put up just enough for OVER backers to cash? 

Lakers fall without Bryant

Los Angeles had Kobe Bryant unavailable for a second straight game in Monday’s 99-76 loss to the Phoenix Suns, dropping the battle as a 3 ½-point betting odds favorite on the road. The Lakers were held to 33.3 percent field shooting, while outscored in the fourth quarter, 28-10.

Lakers veteran Steve Nash came away with a team-high 19 points, uniting with mate Steve Blake for four assists each. Los Angeles’ Dwight Howard logged his eighth straight double-double, finishing with 16 points and 11 boards.

The contest’s combined 175 points plunged below the ‘total’ of 200 ½, despite the Lakers hitting 13-of-16 free throws. Lakers forward Metta World Peace notched five of his side’s 10 steals, while Los Angeles was outrebounded, 55-45.

Wizards, Wall hold off Suns

Washington visited Phoenix two nights later, picking up Wednesday’s 88-79 victory as one-point road ‘chalk.’ The Wizards led by as many as 18 points, connecting at 48.5 percent from the floor.

Wizards guard John Wall notched team-highs of 19 points and eight assists, while mates Jason Collins and Kevin Seraphin logged two blocks each. Washington’s Martell Webster and Trevor Ariza united to drain 6-of-12 buckets beyond the arc, finishing with a combined 27 points.

The duel’s 167 points dipped beneath the ‘total’ of 194 ½, moving the UNDER to 9-4-1 in the Wizards’ last 14 games. Washington’s Nene notched eight rebounds, leading his squad to edge out the Suns in boards, 41-40.

[gameodds]5/222256/92-1537-19-1096/us[/gameodds]

Back the OVER in L.A.

Friday’s tip from Staples Center is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. (ET), making it the night’s final NBA tip. Oddsmakers were slow to post numbers with injuries on both sides, including Los Angeles’ Kobe Bryant (27.1 PPG) and Pau Gasol (8 RPG) listed as “probable” to play.

I am adding an OVER ticket in this matchup to Friday’s sport picks, looking for the Lakers and Wizards to each notch their share of octane. The OVER is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings between these squads that the Lakers have hosted, with the span including a 115-108 win for Los Angeles in the Wizards’ last trip, two seasons ago.

The Lakers should be back in solid form here, ready to erase thoughts of Monday’s setback. Bryant should have the green light for a big night, looking to top the 30 points hung on the Wizards this past December. The OVER is 4-0 in Los Angeles’ last four spots that came after a defeat, while going 4-1 in the team’s last five home dates against foes with losing road records.

Washington has been finding the rims at an improved clip in most of its recent spots, while Martell Webster ranks third in the league for three-point shooting at 45.3 percent. The Wizards have also been giving up more buckets in their past week of action, allowing 101 PPG in their last last three spots.

NBA Picks: OVER the ‘total’ at Bovada

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