Denver Nuggets @ Los Angeles Lakers -4.5
The league is buzzing after Andrew Bynum’s ridiculous stat line two nights ago, snatching a staggering thirty rebounds in single game. He was the first Laker to accomplish the feat since Kareem Abdul Jabbar in 1978. He joins a list that includes four people Jabbar, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain. That’s pretty elite company.
However, I still don’t get the impression that all is well in Laker Land. Bynum may have grabbed some rebounds, but I can’t help feel that we are still on days away from him grabbing another ridiculous headline or team fine. This team seems to be having trouble adapting to mike Brown’s leadership and even greater trouble figuring out how to harmoniously share the basketball. Kobe is gunning – but Kobe has always been a gunner. He difference this season is that his twin towers in the post might finally have edged past him as the more viable and consistent scoring option. Will Kobe be able to distribute the ball as well as score it come playoff time?
It will likely mean the difference between a quick exit or an entertaining run.
Tonight, they host a team that has some work still remaining if they plan on participating in the postseason at all. They are in a tight cluster all jockeying for position in the final two weeks of the season. They currently reside in seventh, but are just a half game back of Dallas for sixth, and a game and half up on Utah and Phoenix to remain in the playoffs altogether. That makes tonight’s contest MUCH more important for the Nuggets than it is for the Lakers.
At first glance, this game and the narrow four point line seems to scream “L.A.” but let me give you some compelling numbers to steer you in the right direction. Los Angeles is an abysmal 1-11 ATS in their last 12 home games. That is a 7.5% cover rate. Overall, they are just 3-13 ATS in their last 16 games overall. That means over the past month, they are literally the worst bet in all of professional sports.
Denver has covered in 67% of their road games and is 7-2-1 in their last ten games ATS against the Lakers. The numbers are about as lopsided in Denver’s favor as you ever see them. Add in the fact that they are getting a fat four and half and it looks even better. To make the circle complete; Kobe is quite likely out of tonight’s game with a bruised shin. I’d jump on this line in case it narrows when he is officially ruled out.
Free Pick: Denver Nuggets +4.5