NBA Predictions: Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York Knicks

Los Angeles Lakers at New York Knicks
Friday, 2/10/12, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Los Angeles -5
Current Betting Line:  Los Angeles -3.5
Opening Total:  186
Current Total:  184
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol has enjoyed playing inside Madison Square Garden in his career

Los Angeles has won nine straight games in its series with New York, but may have trouble coming off the high of picking up an 88-87 overtime win over the Boston Celtics last night as 3.5-point road underdogs.  The Lakers have now split the first four games of their current six-game road trip.  “It’s always fun to beat Boston,” stated Lakers All-Star center Andrew Bynum.  Star guard Kobe Bryant is certainly the player to watch in this nationally-televised event, averaging 33.4 points in his last nine meetings with the Knicks.  Los Angeles is 3-6 ATS when playing on back-to-back days this season.

The Lakers are certainly hoping that power forward Pau Gasol continues his strong play, tallying 25 points and grabbing 14 rebounds versus the Celtics.  He has a great chance of duplicating those numbers inside Madison Square Garden, averaging 26.8 points and 9.0 rebounds in his last four games inside the venue.  Los Angeles has covered the last four meetings in the series, while the “under” has gone 3-1 in that span.

New York will continue to play without the services of Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, as the team looks to win its fourth consecutive game.  The Knicks picked up an impressive 107-93 win over the Washington Wizards as 1.5-point road underdogs last time out, covering their sixth straight game.  Much of the team’s recent success has been centered around point guard Jeremy Lin, who has averaged 25.3 points and 8.3 assists in the last three games.  New York is 5-7 ATS as a home underdog of 3.5 to 6 points the last two-plus seasons.

The Knicks are an even 5-5 at home this season, including a losing 1-2 mark versus Western Conference opponents.  New York suffered a 99-82 loss as 4.5-point road underdogs in the first meeting this year, as it was led by forward Carmelo Anthony with 27 points.  Center Tyson Chandler will need to provide a lift offensively, picking up his first double-double of the season in that affair, registering 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Bettors will likely back the Lakers due to their 9-4 ATS mark as a road favorite of 4.5 points or less, while the Knicks are 1-8 ATS versus Pacific division opponents.

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