January 24th 2014 - Posted 5:00 PM Eastern Time
The entire focus is on NBA tonight but Saturday will be dedicated to the college world as it always has been.
There are two bets risking a total of 4% tonight.
#1: Take Orlando Magic at -2 spread against LA Lakers risking 2%
The Lakers have covered the spread in six straight games coming into tonight's matchup but what most fail to take into account is that they haven't been winning games and are just 2-8 in their last ten! Mike D'Antoni's team has been covering spreads despite falling short because they were installed as large underdogs in most of them. But that isn't the case tonight and their previous efforts to keep games close may in fact hurt them.
The Lakers played less than 24 hours ago and gave everything they had against the defending champions Miami Heat. Expect fatigue to play a role in the second half against a well rested and hungry Orland Magic team that wants to give its fans something to cheer about. The Magic are a fairly poor team this year but against a storied franchise like the Lakers, they will no doubt give their all and have a chance to clinch an important win. The Lakers on the other hand are much more likely to overook the lowly Magic in the middle of this challenging 6-game road trip especially immediately following their battle against the defending champs.
The lack of a true PG has been tough for LA after Steve Nash, Jordan Farmar, Steve Blake and even Xavier Henry who was filling-in all suffered injuries. It is one thing to miss key players such as Kobe Bryant but to have your entire PG depth wiped out can be hard to overcome for any team.
Like Orlando, the Lakers aren't a good team this year and one of their biggest problems is a complete lack of defense. Mike D'Antoni's teams are always fun to watch because of their offensive style but a team that has given up 111 points per game over the last 10 will have a hard time winning them.
Victor Oladipo is growing in confidence and finished the previous game with 24 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds! He'll be helped out by Jameer Nelson who has previously played very well against the Lakers. The Magic start a 3-game road trip after this and know tonight is their best chance for an important win.
Other notable facts to consider:
- LA Lakers are 0-6 this season when the total has been set between 205 and 210 points!
- LA Lakers are 3-7 when having played the previous night.
- Orlando Magic has won 6 of the last 9 in this series against Lakers.
#2: Take Detroit Pistons at -3.5 spread against New Orleans Pelicans risking 2%
The Pelicans have severely struggled after losing leading scorer Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday. They have won just one of their last 10 games and the offense has averaged ten points lower than its seasonal average during this span.
PG Jrue Holiday was the biggest acquisition this summer and dictated the pace for this team while Ryan Anderson not only helped Anthony Davis on the boards but is without a doubt their best shooter and in fact one of the best 3-point shooters in the league.
As if those two absences weren't hard enough to overcome, Jason Smith went down with a knee injury just a few days ago and is now out indefinitely as well. Tyreke Evans should be back but Anthony Morrow is questionable for tonight and even if he does play, he won't be at his best. To put things into perspective as far as numbers go, it is worth remembering that Anderson, Holiday and Smith combined to score 63 points in the previous matchup against Detroit!
The Pistons have had their own struggles in January but they aren't missing their best players and simply have to cut out complacency. Arrogance won't be an issue tonight having been humbled by losing to the atrocious Milwaukee Bucks (league-worst) in their most recent game. That was a game in which the Pistons were cruising with a comfortable lead until complacency reared its ugly head in as they gave up a double-digit lead and went on to narrowly lose. Head coach Maurice Cheeks will not want to see a similar display and will remind his team that they have a score to settle with Pelicans having lost to them back in early December. This is the final game between these two teams this season and the home side no doubt wants to even up the series and avoid being swept.
Look for Josh Smith who had a poor shooting night last time out and the Pistons to bounce back and get a much needed home victory with help from Brandon Jennings, Andre Dummound and Greg Monroe. They seek revenge and the injury-riddled Pelicans will have a hard time keeping up.
Other notable facts to consider:
- The Pelicans are a horrible 5-16 as an underdog this season!
- The Pelicans are just 8-18 vs. good offensive teams (those averaging 99 points or more) this season!
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