We took a rare 0-2 night in NBA action last night, and plan on bouncing back with a big Saturday. It’s been a profitable NBA season so far, and there are a bunch of good games on the schedule tonight to sift through to find some winners.
Let’s dig in to a pair of NBA matchups and start a new winning streak.
Today’s Free Picks:
Los Angeles Lakers at Charlotte Bobcats -2.5 (Total: 198.5)
Let’s be honest. We were all excited to see Kobe Bryant return to NBA action. But so far, through three games, it has been a complete disaster team-wise. The Lakers have lost all three games and none of them have been impressive efforts. They lost a pair of home games to Toronto and Phoenix and last night go absolutely demolished in Oklahoma City.
Charlotte has actually been better than expected this season. They are 10-13, which in the Eastern Conference, is basically playoff-worthy. They’ve also been real competitive in their losses, like last night’s 99-94 effort in Indianapolis. They’ve won three of their last four at home with wins over Golden State, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.
Both teams played last night, but I’ll give the huge advantage to the home team and the team that isn’t playing back to back games on the other side of the country. Also, it is clear the Lakers just aren’t as efficient offensively right now with Kobe in the lineup. He distributed the ball well last night (perhaps a brief response to the ‘Kobe is killing them offensively’ narrative?) notching 13 assists, but is still shooting just 38% from the floor.
This is a nice opportunity for Charlotte to give their fans a nice treat – a home win against a name-brand (albeit not vintage edition) team. I think they’ll take advantage of the opportunity.
San Antonio Spurs -6.5 at Utah Jazz (Total: 195.5)
Very quietly the Utah Jazz are showing flashes of competence lately. It is not a coincidence that things are getting better as Trey Burke gets better (and healthier). They have won two straight games, both on the road and by double-digits, at Denver and at Sacramento. It’s a good step in the right direction for one of the youngest rosters in the NBA.
However, beating the Kings and beating the Nuggets is NOT beating the mighty Spurs. San Antonio thrives in situations like this; ripping the soul out of an up-and-comer and putting them squarely back in their place.
Utah is playing their second game in as many days and their third in four nights. The same is true of San Antonio though, so some of the advantage is negated. The reason I’m leaning Spurs on the road is because of the particular matchup – extreme youth versus extreme veteran savvy.
I don’t think it’ll be one of those ridiculous blowouts, but I do think the Spurs win and win comfortably tonight.