NBA Betting Odds and Predictions: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves
Friday, 2/1/13, 9:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Los Angeles -2
Current Betting Line:  Los Angeles -1.5
Opening Total:  198
Current Total:  197
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Los Angeles Lakers C Pau Gasol will get the start Friday night with Dwight Howard out of the lineup
Los Angeles Lakers C Pau Gasol will get the start Friday night with Dwight Howard out of the lineup

Los Angeles had its three-game win streak snapped in a disappointing 92-86 defeat to the Phoenix Suns as three-point road favorites Wednesday night, while going UNDER the posted total for the third time in four contests.  “Big setback for us,” stated Lakers point guard Steve Nash.  “We were in control of the team and couldn’t close it out.”  The Lakers are 5-16 overall on the road, including a 2-4 mark versus Eastern Conference opponents.  Los Angeles is 1-10 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite this season, which can’t be ignored when making your NBA picks against the spread Friday night.

The Lakers will be playing tonight without the services of center Dwight Howard, who aggravated a shoulder injury, which has had an impact when looking over the pro basketball odds page.  Los Angeles has won nine of its last 10 trips to Minnesota, including nine consecutive victories at the Target Center.  Offensively, the team ranks sixth in the league in averaging 102.2 points per game, while its opponent is 13th in surrendering 96.8.

Minnesota has lost five games in a row, including a 96-90 setback to the Los Angeles Clippers as 4.5-point home underdogs last time out, while going UNDER the total for the first time in three contests.  “Teams are playing aggressive,” stated Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio.  “We have to try to push them.”  The Timberwolves will have a hard time accomplishing that against the Lakers, as they’ve lost 19 consecutive games in this series, which is the longest such streak of its kind of one team over another.  Minnesota is 1-2 ATS as a home underdog of three points or less this season, with the OVER going 2-1 in that situation.

The Timberwolves will definitely need to try and score at least 90 points in this affair, as they’ve lost all 10 games this season when failing to hit that mark.  Minnesota has allowed opponents to shoot 51 percent during its current losing streak, which has led to allowing 101.4 points per game.

Sports bettors will likely back the Lakers due to their 5-2 ATS mark in the last seven meetings in this series.

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