LOS ANGELES LAKERS (38-17)
at CHARLOTTE BOBCATS (23-31)
Tip-off: Monday, 7:00 p.m. EDT Line: Los Angeles -5, Total: 188
The Charlotte Bobcats are starting to prove they can beat winning teams and a victory against the two-time defending champion Lakers on Monday, would really boost confidence in a young, but talented locker room. Vegas odds.
The Lakers started their seven-game road trip by impressively beating New Orleans, Memphis, Boston and New York. Los Angeles then suffered a tough loss to Orlando 89-75 on Sunday. The Lakers have really stiffened up on defense allowing 90.0 PPG on the road trip thus far (96.0 PPG allowed for the season). L.A. relies on Kobe Bryant (25.4 PPG) to score and lead this veteran team, but on Sunday the All-Star could only muster 17 points, including just four points after halftime. Bryant has had great success against the Bobcats averaging 30.7 PPG in 11 career games, but Charlotte has beaten Los Angeles seven out of the past nine meetings. Pau Gasol must improve his play against the Bobcats for the Lakers to have a chance on Monday night. Gasol (18.6 PPG) has averaged 12.8 PPG on just 38.3% FG in the past four meetings against Charlotte. Betting lines.
The Bobcats are playing much better basketball against winning teams by beating Boston Feb. 7, 94-89, and winning at Atlanta on Saturday 88-86. The Bobcats are 23-31 SU (26-27 ATS) and trail the Pacers by two games for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Charlotte may be in a much better position if it could figure out how to use its home-court advantage and play well at the Time Warner Cable Arena. Charlotte is only 13-14 (11-15 ATS) at home and recently lost to the less-talented Nets 94-89 Friday in Charlotte. The Bobcats need that scoring boost like they received on Saturday from Stephen Jackson (19.2 PPG). Jackson, who scored 32 points, hit a last-second shot to lift the Bobcats over the Hawks 88-86.
Charlotte once trailed 51-29 in the contest, but rallied from 22 down to complete its largest comeback in franchise history. The success the Bobcats have had against the Lakers has been astounding by winning seven of nine SU and going 10-1 ATS in the past 11 meetings. For the season, both teams are mediocre against the spread with Charlotte being 26-27 and Los Angeles being 25-30. The Bobcats have had great success over the past three years against Pacific Division opponents, going 20-6 SU and 19-7 ATS. The Lakers also have not been good covering the spread against teams with a losing record, going 9-16 ATS. It is going to be extremely tough for the older Lakers to play their fourth road game in five days.
I like Charlotte to continue its dominance over the Lakers and win Monday night. The FoxSheets show two reasons to pick the Bobcats, including: Play Against – Road favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points (L.A. LAKERS) – after going under the total by 30 or more points total in their last three games, in non-conference games.(51-22 over the last 5 seasons.) (69.9%, +26.8 units. Rating = 2*). L.A. LAKERS are 2-12 ATS (14.3%, 11.2 Units) after a combined score of 175 points or less over the last 2 seasons.
The average score was L.A. LAKERS 98.1, OPPONENT 98.7 – (Rating = 2*). The Lakers have played four straight games finishing Under the total and this FoxSheets trend also sides with the Under. Sports scores.
Play Under – All teams where the total is between 180 and 189.5 points (LA LAKERS) – in a game involving two average defensive teams (92-98 PPG) after 42+ games, after a combined score of 165 points or less. (78-39 since 1996.) (66.7%, +35.1 units. Rating = 2*).