The Los Angeles Lakers came up with a surprising victory late Sunday night against the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference. What can they do against Detroit on Tuesday? They’re a small road dog on the NBA betting lines.
The Los Angeles Lakers Can Win Because…
Their confidence should be way up after an overtime win over the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors on Sunday night. The Lakers could not score against Memphis last week, and their offense took a noticeable dip. On Friday, they scored a lot against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but their defense was just bad enough to lose by a point. On Sunday, the Lakers were able to get that one extra stop and turn the margins in their favor. Kobe Bryant came up with a triple double, scoring 31 points as the crown jewel in his performance. The Lakers have to love the fact that Kobe could perform at that level. They also have to love the fact that he was angry enough to want to do something about Friday’s loss to Minnesota. The Lakers have won back-to-back games earlier in this season. They can do so again. Their opponent should give them a good chance.
Detroit is 28th in the league in scoring offense. The Pistons have a negative point differential of 6.5 points. Coach Stan Van Gundy’s team is shooting just 41 percent from the field and is shooting under 35 percent from three-point range. Detroit has a negative turnover differential and has just not done many things worthy of much confidence. This is what a horrible team looks like in the NBA. The Lakers are actually higher up in the standings. They can beat this team, and we are willing to place our NBA pick on them today.
The Detroit Pistons Can Win Because…
They're playing a team that is still not very good and will be dealing with a long commute plus the laws of averages on Tuesday. Detroit played on Sunday at home against Golden State. The Pistons have been sitting home and resting, waiting for the Lakers on Tuesday. Detroit should be fresh for this game, but the same can’t be said for the Lakers, who have to make the long cross-country flight to Michigan for this game. In addition, while Kobe’s triple-double on Sunday was very impressive, is he going to be able to drag his aging body through another game and play at a high level again? It’s a physical challenge for Kobe at this stage in his career with the body he has, not the body he used to have. The odds of Kobe playing really well in this game are low, and one should not expect an especially strong performance from him (their underdog status in the NBA odds reflects just this). Since the Lakers won because of his efforts against Toronto, Los Angeles should be viewed negatively here. The Lakers also remain one of the worst teams in the league on defense, allowing an average of 112 points per game. If Detroit wants to get healthy against a bad defense, the Lakers are it.
This is an ugly game as the Pistons have lost eight straight and 11 of 12. On the year, they’ve only won three of their 17 games. Meanwhile, the Lakers are just about the same at 4-13. However, the Lakers have been trending in the right direction, so they’re the choice for our NBA picks. The Lakers registered back-to-back wins against the Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks on November 18th and 19th, and although they lost four straight after that, they were competitive against Denver, Memphis and Minnesota before beating Toronto. This is a coin flip, so we’ll take the points.
Free NBA Pick: Lakers +1.5 at BetOnline