Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers Pro Basketball Picks & Predictions

Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers
Tuesday, 2/1/11, 10:30 PM EDT
Opening Point Spread:  Los Angeles -8.5
Current Betting Line:  Los Angeles -8.5
Opening Total:  207
Current Total:  209

The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off a disappointing loss to the Boston Celtics and now face the Houston Rockets at Staples Center

Houston has dropped four of its last six away from home and face the two-time defending champions at Staples Center on Tuesday night.  The Rockets have been struggling over the last couple weeks and point guard Aaron Brooks has placed some of the blame squarely on himself.  “We’ve been losing,” he stated.  “I don’t feel like I’m doing my job to help right now.  I’m still trying to get in the rhythm of things and help the team out.”  The team is coming off a 108-95 defeat to San Antonio last time out, as it trailed by five points heading into the fourth quarter, which was a bad place to be considering the Spurs are 32-1 this season when leading after three quarters.  Houston is 12-14 ATS as an underdog this season, but carries in an impressive 8-2 ATS mark against Pacific division opponents.  Make sure to check out the NBA lines page for movement on this particular game.

The Rockets are 5-11 overall on the road against Western Conference opponents during the 2010-11 campaign and are 25-70 against the Lakers in Southern California.  Houston has given Los Angeles problems of late, including a 109-99 home win on December 1, closing the game on a 25-8 run.  Offensively, the squad would be best served to lean heavily on guard Kevin Martin, who has scored a combined 48 points in the season’s first two match-ups.  He is coming off a disappointing effort in scoring just 10 points against the Spurs on 4 of 13 shooting from the field.  “I just lost the rhythm,” Martin commented.  “I don’t know how I lost it, but I just did.”

Los Angeles isn’t scaring many opponents this season and is now 1-5 against top contenders Boston, Miami, Chicago, San Antonio and Dallas this season.  The Lakers have also found ways to lose to some of the worst teams in the league, including a home loss to Sacramento on Friday.  “It’s probably more of a disappointment to me that we haven’t taken care of the teams that we should take care of,” said coach Phil Jackson.  “The inconsistency is what bothers me most.”  The team really needs to grab a decisive victory in this particular contest due to facing San Antonio and then embarking on a seven-game road trip.  Los Angeles is 10-15 ATS at home and 21-26 ATS as a favorite this season.

The Lakers have an 18-7 overall record at the Staples Center this season, including a 10-3 mark against Western foes.  Los Angeles is 8-2 against Houston in the last 10 overall meetings and are 14-8 all-time against them in tonight’s venue.  In 48 career games versus Houston, star guard Kobe Bryant is averaging 26.7 points per game, which is his fifth-highest among all opponents faced.

Bettors will be interested in backing the Lakers due to the home team being 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings, while the Rockets are 3-7-1 ATS versus the Western Conference.

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