NBA Predictions: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Atlanta Hawks

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Atlanta Hawks
Monday, 12/16/13, 7:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Atlanta -5
Current Betting Line:  Atlanta -6
Opening Total:  206
Current Total:  204.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Atlanta Hawks should have their way in the paint offensively against the Los Angeles Lakers
The Atlanta Hawks should have their way in the paint offensively against the Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles snapped a three-game losing streak by picking up an 88-85 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats as three-point road underdogs last Saturday, while going UNDER the betting total of 198.5.  The Lakers are 5-6 SU away from the Staples Center this season, including a 3-1 mark versus Eastern Conference opponents, which is important to consider when making your NBA predictions.  The franchise hasn’t lost a season series against Atlanta since 1978-79.  Los Angeles is 3-0 ATS as road underdogs of 3.5 to 6 points this season, with the OVER going 3-0 in that situation.

The Lakers are playing without their top three point guards, which has caused shooting guard Kobe Bryant to move over, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NBA betting lines.  “We have to somehow find some wins,” commented Los Angeles head coach Mike D’Antoni.  Bryant has scored at least 20 points twice in four games since returning to the lineup.  Center Pau Gasol is really struggling this year—averaging just 14.4 points and shooting a career-low 41.8 percent from the floor.

Atlanta has alternated wins and losses over its last four games, as it attempts to bounce back from a 111-106 setback to the New York Knicks as one-point road underdogs last Saturday, while going OVER the betting total for the sixth time in seven contests.  The Hawks are 15th in the NBA in scoring 99.6 points per game, while sitting in the same spot in averaging 15.3 turnovers a contest.  Four probable starters are averaging double figures, with center Al Horford leading the way at 17.7 points a game.  Atlanta is 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points, with the OVER going 3-2 in that situation.

The Hawks should have their way in the paint, as Horford and Paul Millsap are the only two players in the league average at least 16.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.  Millsap has compiled five double-doubles in his last seven contests.  Atlanta ranks second in the NBA in averaging 24.4 assists per game—recording one on 65 percent of its made baskets so far during the 2013-14 campaign.

Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the OVER is 4-1 in the Hawks’ last five games after scoring 100 or more points in their previous game.

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