Unlikely Rivals: Los Angeles Lakers at Charlotte Bobcats Betting Preview

Los Angeles Lakers AT Charlotte Bobcats
Feb 14, 2011 at 7 PM EST
Opening Line:  L.A. -5
Current Line:  L.A. -4.5
Opening Total: 188
Current Total: 190
Opening Moneyline: L.A. -210 / Cha +180
Current Moneyline: LA. -200 / Cha +170

Wallace is averaging 15.6 ppg and 7.9 rpg in his 10th NBA season

The Bobcats may be on the outside looking in on the Eastern Conference playoff race, but the way they play against the Lakers, you’d never know it.  They look to win their 5th of their last 6 tonight against the Lakers and Paul Silas has been impressed by the team’s resilancy. “This team doesn’t quit,” interim coach Paul Silas said. “I’ve got to give credit to these guys because they very easily could have folded and they didn’t.”

The team has been playing much better under Silas, who replaced the antiquated coaching style of Larry Brown.  The Bobcat players have looked like they’re having more fun, and they should be – they’re winning more games.  The Lakers are coming off a tough loss to Orlando though, and will no doubt be focused on making sure that loss doesn’t turn into a losing streak.

Some betting trends:

The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the Lakers’ past 6 games and the Lakers are 4-1 SU in their last 5.  The total has gone UNDER in 5 of their last 6 on the road and they are 5-1 SU in those games.  They are 1-4 SU in their last 5 against the Bobcats and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games against Charlotte.  The total has gone UNDER in 5 of their last 7 games against the Bobcats and the Lakers are 1-4 SU in their last 5 on the road against Charlotte.  The Lakers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games in Charlotte.

Charlotte is 2-4 SU over their last 6 games and the total has gone OVER in 4 of their last 6 games.  The total has also gone OVER in 5 of their last 6 at home and they are 1-4 SU in their last 5 at home.  Charlotte is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games at home and the total has gone UNDER in 5 of the last 7 against the Lakerse.  Charlotte is 4-1 SU in their last 5 against the Lakers and 4-1 SU in their last 5 home games against the Lakers.

Key Matchups:

Kobe Bryant vs. Stephen Jackson

This is a matchup of the best players on each team.  Stephen Jackson didn’t make the all star team, but maybe he should have.  He’s averaging 19.2 points per game, 3.7 assists per game, and 4.9 boards.  The stickler is that he is 41% field goal shooter and he turns it over 3.1 times a game.  Kobe Bryant is declining at an ever steady rate but is still one of the best players in the game.  His scoring average is down 1.6 points from last year, but mainly becuase he is only playing 33 minutes a game this year, down from 38 last year; that’s quite a difference.  All things considered, Bryant is going to be one of the best players in the game for at least the next three seasons and might dominate until he is 40, like his often compared Michael Jordan.

Lamar Odom / Pau Gasol / Andrew Bynum vs. Gerald Wallace / Boris Diaw / Kwame Brown

All things being even, Boris Diaw and Kwame Brown wouldn’t even crack the Lakers’ player rotation if they were on L.A.  This frontcourt match up is hilariously tilted in L.A.’s favor and it’s absurd that they continue to let the Bobcats beat them given this fact.  Gerald Wallace is a legit small forward, but he’s barely as good as Odom, arguably the third best of the L.A. trio.  I expect the Lakers to dominate the front court matchups and this should be enough for them to end their troubles against the Bobcats.

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