NBA Betting Preview: New Orleans Hornets at Los Angeles Lakers

New Orleans Hornets at Los Angeles Lakers
Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 10:30 pm Eastern, TV: NBA TV
Staples Center – Los Angeles, California
Opening Line: Los Angeles -9
Current Line: Los Angeles -8 1/2
Opening Total: 196
Current Total: 195 1/2
Opening Money Line: Lakers -500 / Hornets +400
Current Money Line: Lakers -425 / Hornets +355

Lakers Hornets NBA Game Preview

Kobe Bryant and the Lakers are 8.5 point favorites at home against the New Orleans Hornets. The Lakers are fighting for the last playoff spot in the West.

The 40-37 Los Angeles Lakers are a half game behind the Utah Jazz for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Lakers have 5 games left, and the Jazz have 4 games left. The Lakers have to finish ahead of the Jazz as Utah holds the tiebreaker.

LA will host the 27-50 New Orleans Hornets Tuesday night, while Utah travels to Oklahoma City. The Hornets are tied with Sacramento for the second worst record in the Western Conference ahead of only the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers lost Sunday in a “road” game at their Staples Center rivals the Clippers 109-95. The Clippers swept the Lakers this season and clinched their first Pacific Division title in history with the win. The Lakers are 3-15 against the top 5 teams in the West this season, one of the reasons they are fighting for a playoff spot. The Hornets won at the Suns 95-92 Sunday, for their first road win since February 11.

The Lakers have beaten the Hornets 10 straight times, including all 3 meetings this season. Los Angeles won at New Orleans 103-87 December 5, 111-106 in LA January 29, and at New Orleans 108-102 March 6.

New Orleans is coached by Monty Williams. The Hornets are being outscored 98-94 this season. New Orleans is #25 in scoring. The Hornets are shooting 45.1% from the field and 36.5% from 3 point range. New Orleans is 13th or better in both categories. The Hornets are #6 in free throw percentage at 77.9% from the line. New Orleans averages 41.4 rebounds per game and gives up 39.3 per game. The Hornets are #4 in rebounds allowed. New Orleans opponents are shooting 46.8% from the field and 37.5% from 3 point range. The Hornets are #25 or worse in both categories. New Orleans averages 21.1 assists, 6.4 steals, 5.5 blocks, and 13.6 turnovers per game. The Hornets are 38-39 ATS and the total is 40-37 this season.

Shooting guard Eric Gordon averages 16.5 points, 1.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1 steal a game. Power forward Ryan Anderson averages 16.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. Point guard Greivis Vasquez averages 14.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 9.2 assists. Forward Anthony Davis averages 13.5 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1.2 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game. Center Robin Lopez averages 11.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. Forward Jason Smith is out for the season with a shoulder injury. He averaged 8.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. Al-Farouq Aminu, Brian Roberts, and Roger mason, Jr. also get significant minutes. Point guard Austin Rivers is likely out for the season with a broken hand.

The Lakers are coached by Mike D’Antoni. LA is outscoring teams 102-101 this season. The Lakers are #6 in scoring but #24 in points allowed. Los Angeles is shooting 45.8% from the field and 35.6% from 3 point range. The Lakers are #10 in field goal percentage.  LA is last in the league in free throw shooting at 68.8% from the line. The Lakers average 44.7 rebounds per game, and give up 42.8 per game. Los Angeles is #3 in rebounding. Laker opponents are shooting 45.5% from the field and 35.8% from 3 point range. The Lakers average 22.2 assists, 7.1 steals, 5.2 blocks, and 14.7 turnovers per game. LA is 31-44-2 ATS and the total is 39-37-1 this season.

Guard Kobe Bryant is averaging 27 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. He is third in the league in scoring. Center Dwight Howard averages 16.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.1 steals, and 2.4 blocks per game. Forward Pau Gasol averages 13.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game. Small forward Metta World Peace is expected to return to the line-up tonight less than 2 weeks after undergoing surgery for a torn meniscus. He  was originally expected to be out until at least early May. World Peace is averaging 12.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Point guard Steve Nash is expected to miss his fourth game in a row with a hamstring injury. Nash averages 12.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game. Antawn Jamison, Earl Clark, Jodie Meeks, and Steve Blake make up the rest of the rotation. Center Jordan Hill is out for the season with a hip injury.

New Orleans is 3-7 ATS in Tuesday games, 2-5 when the opponent allowed more than 100 points in their previous game, 2-6 after a win and a cover, 1-4 against Pacific Division teams, 1-8 in road games, 0-5 against teams with winning home records, and 0-4 against teams with winning straight up records. The road team is 21-7 ATS in this series recently. The Hornets are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is 3-0-1 ATS against Southwest teams, 17-5 after a straight up loss of 10 points or more, 3-1-1 in home games, 5-2 on one day rest, 7-19 in Tuesday games, 2-6-1 overall, 1-4 after allowing 100 points or more, 1-4 after failing to cover. The over is 12-5 in this series recently.

The Lakers have been ravaged by injuries, but are still a very dangerous team. They have very little margin for error if they want to make the playoffs. This is the kind of game that the Lakers have stumbled in this season. They tend to overlook bad teams, and they can’t afford to do that now. The Lakers have to win, and they will. However, the Hornets keep it interesting.

Our NBA handicappers are red hot as the regular season winds down. Don’t miss out on nay more winners through the end of the playoffs.

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