With Lakers & Knicks Coming Off Wins, Who Can Cover the NBA Odds Point Spread Tonight?

David Lawrence

Sunday, February 1, 2015 12:21 PM GMT

Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015 12:21 PM GMT

Lakers and Knicks have both come up with highly unexpected victories. Which team will win on Super Bowl Sunday afternoon in the Big Apple? The Knicks are a three-point favorite on the NBA betting lines.

The Los Angeles Lakers Can Win Because…
They are the owners of a win which came about due to reasons other than player injuries. Against NBA odds both the Lakers and the Knicks grabbed big wins this week. The Lakers beat the Chicago Bulls at home, while the Knicks beat the Oklahoma City Thunder at home. The difference is that the Lakers beat a Chicago team that had all its main players in the lineup. The Knicks, on the other hand, beat an Oklahoma City team that did not have Kevin Durant due to the superstar’s aggravation of a bothersome toe injury that has repeatedly interrupted his season. Because the Lakers were able to beat Chicago under what would be considered more “straight-up” circumstances, they should be given a little more consideration as the team that is stronger heading into this contest. Without Kobe Bryant, there is more ball movement on the Lakers. This team executes more fluidly and freely on offense, instead of having Kobe bring the offense to a halt, sucking the ball into a black hole in an isolation context.

The player who is really coming on strong for the Lakers is Jordan Hill, who hit a tying jumper late in the first overtime against the Bulls (in a double-overtime win). If Los Angeles can continue to get highly productive outings from him – he had 26 points and 12 boards against the Bulls – this team can and should beat the lower-level teams in the Eastern Conference, such as the Knicks.

 

The New York Knicks Can Win Because…
There is little doubt that while the Lakers had a good game against the Bulls, they are still in a bad stretch of their season. Los Angeles is 1-9 in its last 10 games. The Lakers cannot protect leads with any consistency. They blew a 19-point lead to the Washington Wizards on Tuesday in Los Angeles. They have faltered in the fourth quarters of other games over the past 10. Kobe Bryant might not have been an efficient shooter or offensive player this season, but when he was on the court, opposing coaching staffs and defenses still had to account for him and worry about him. Now, where will the Lakers turn to for a main scoring threat on offense? Nick Young is not likely to be the answer, at least not a very good one. Los Angeles is going to be more exposed and vulnerable as the season continues.

The Knicks are 4-6 in their last 10 games. That’s nothing special, but it sure beats the Lakers’ 1-9 mark. New York allows 5.6 fewer points per game than the Lakers, too (100.6 compared to 106.2 for L.A.).

 

Outlook
The Lakers don’t have Kobe. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Based on the double-overtime win over a very good Chicago team, it feels like a good thing for now. The Knicks are still dreadfully bad and cannot be trusted in just about any situation. Take the Lakers with your NBA picks.

Free NHL Pick: Lakers +3 at Bovada

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