NBA Predictions: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Los Angeles Lakers at Milwaukee Bucks
Saturday, 1/28/12, 8:30 PM EST, TV:  FSWI
Opening Point Spread:  Los Angeles -5
Current Betting Line:  Los Angeles -5
Opening Total:  182
Current Total:  183
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Los Angeles Lakers are looking for some type of success away from the Staples Center this season

Los Angeles snapped a three-game losing streak with a 96-91 win over the Los Angeles Clippers last time out as four-point home favorites, as it looks to capture its first road win since Jan. 11.  “Everybody played with the right attitude, and guys did what they do best,” commented Lakers guard Kobe Bryant about the performance.  “You have to be who you are.”  He is averaging a league-leading 30.2 points per game, registering 24 points and grabbing seven rebounds in the team’s latest contest.  Los Angeles is 1-6 ATS on the road this year.

The Lakers split last season’s series with the Bucks at one game apiece, while sweeping both the 2008-09 and 2009-10 campaigns.  Los Angeles is averaging 92.5 points per game, which ranks 21st in the league, but has been playing outstanding defense for most of the year.  First-year head coach Mike Brown has the franchise ranked sixth in the NBA in surrendering just 90.5 points per contest.

Milwaukee has alternated wins and losses over its last four games, while going “over” the total in three consecutive contests.  The Bucks are coming off a 107-100 defeat to the Chicago Bulls as 11-point road underdogs, playing without starting center Andrew Bogut, who is expected to miss at least eight weeks with a broken ankle.  “We played as hard as possible on both ends of the court,” stated Bucks forward Drew Gooden.  He tallied 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while getting help on the perimeter by Brandon Jennings pouring in a team-best 25 points.  Milwaukee is 0-6 ATS when playing on back-to-back days this season.

The Bucks will need to mark Bryant defensively, as he has averaged 33.3 points in his last three visits to the Bradley Center.  Milwaukee has dropped three consecutive home games in this series and dropped eight of 10 in front of the home faithful when hosting Los Angeles.  Injuries have hurt the team’s chances once again in reaching the playoffs,  sitting with a 7-11 record after 18 games, which is just a game better than last year’s 6-12 start.

Bettors will likely back the Lakers due to their 9-3 ATS mark as a road favorite of 4.5 points or less, while the Bucks are 4-11 ATS versus Western Conference opponents.

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