Expert NBA Free Pick: Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Orleans Hornets



Los Angeles Lakers
(34-16, 21-28-1 ATS)

New Orleans Hornets
(32-19, 26-24-1 ATS)

It’s amazing to think that the New Orleans Hornets and Los Angeles Lakers are only separated by 2.5 games in the standings this late in the season. These two will hook up in the Bayou in what should be a great NBA betting battle on Saturday.

There is really something that is still wrong with the Lakers right now, and we can’t quite put our finger on what exactly it is. A five game home stand just wrapped up at 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS, including posting losses in each of the last four games on the NBA odds, and now, they have to go over to the East Coast and start a horrendous seven game swing that includes stops in some vicious places like New Orleans, Memphis, Boston, New York, and Orlando. A lack of offensive consistency and some tremendous down guard play this year have really been the problems, and we have to wonder if the men in purple and gold are going to be making a move at some point either during this road trip, or during the remainder of the trading season. There’s something not quite right about a Head Coach Phil Jackson team averaging 103.3 points per game and allowing 96.6 points per game, as it seems like both of those numbers really should be significantly better. Kobe Bryant only posted 16 against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night, and this is probably why the team was in a position to lose the game at the gun as well.

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The Hornets are on a real ATS skid right now as well, having failed to cover four in a row. There is only one win to speak of in that bunch, a 97-89 win at home over the Washington Wizards (but hey, who DOESN’T beat the Washington Wizards at home, right?). The defense for New Orleans has really slacked, which is something that we don’t normally mention with this team this year. Allowing 91.9 points per game is the second best mark in the league, but the desire is there to keep every foe in the 80s. Unfortunately for the Hornets, they have allowed at least 102 in four out of five, which ended one of the best defensive three game stretches in the league in which they allowed an average of just 70.0 points per game to the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, and Atlanta Hawks. David West is coming off of a great game against the Thunder, having scored 20 points and dragged down 15 boards, and he is going to be a key combatant on the inside to battle against the likes of Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum.

Every single team in the league really gives the Lakers their best shot, especially when they’re at home. Don’t think that this is going to be any different. Don’t be shocked if New Orleans runs away with this one and makes a real statement to the rest of the league by locking down Kobe and company.

Free NBA Pick: New Orleans Hornets

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