NBA Picks: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets

Jeff GrantContributor IJanuary 8, 2013

NBA Picks: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets

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    The Los Angeles Lakers (15-18) have lost and failed to cover the spread in all three of their games since the calendar turned to January, as they prepare to take on the Houston Rockets (20-14) at the Toyota Center Tuesday night, with the opening tip scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on NBATV.

    Sports bettors will find that the Lakers are eight-point road underdogs in the pro basketball odds (courtesy of SBR Forum), while the total has settled in at 218.5.

    Let's take a closer look at this Western Conference affair from a betting perspective, while offering an against-the-spread (ATS) along the way. 

Los Angeles Lakers

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    The Los Angeles Lakers will need major performances out of guards Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, as Pau Gasol (concussion) and Dwight Howard (shoulder) are both out with injuries.

    Sports bettors will also find that the Lakers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven trips to Houston, while the OVER is 8-1 in their last nine meetings overall.

Houston Rockets

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    The Houston Rockets lead the NBA in averaging 106.2 points per game, with guard James Harden leading the way in scoring a team-high 26.4 points a contest.

    Sports bettors need to be careful in backing the Rockets as favorites in this affair, as they've compiled a losing 6-12 record versus Western Conference rivals this year.

Prediction

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    I'm going to recommend that readers back the Los Angeles Lakers as one of their NBA picks against the spread Tuesday night, as Kobe Bryant has scored 40 or more points against the Houston Rockets eight times in his career.

    He scored a game-high 39 points in a 107-102 loss to Houston as one-point road underdogs on Dec. 4.

    NBA Pick: Los Angeles Lakers +8

     

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