The Los Angeles Lakers are on the road tonight at the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. They will be playing the Utah Jazz at 9:00 PM EST. Oddsmakers have posted the line of this game at the Lakers -1.5 and the over/under at 204.
Now, as I have said many times before, I believe that oddsmakers know more about the game, no matter what sport it is, than I do. Sometimes I wake up and look at my online sportsbook and see the spread and just can not figure out how they came up with it. Because I believe that the people that came up with that betting line, that does not make sense to me, I get nervous about it. This is one of those betting situations.
Let’s take a look at this game and maybe we can figure it out. So far this season the Jazz have lost all three of their home games against teams that made the playoffs last season. The Lakers did not just make it to the playoffs last season, they won it all. The last three seasons it was the Lakers that knocked the Jazz out of the post season. The Lakers have won 10 of the last 14 regular season games. The Lakers are leading the NBA in scoring with an average of 111.53 points per game.
The Jazz are 12th in scoring with an average of 100.63. The Lakers are also leading the NBA in rebounding with an average of 46.27 and a +2.94 differential while the Jazz are 25th in the league in rebounding with an average of 40.06 per game and a -4.57 differential. Both teams are playing well right now. The Lakers are 13 – 2, second best in the Western Conference and the Jazz are 11 – 5, 4th best in the Western Conference. Both teams bring a winning percentage into this game. The Lakers have won their last 5 games and the Jazz have won their last 3. So far I don’t see anything that explains to me why the betting websites only favored the Lakers by 1.5 points
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have two players out until next month, Andrew Bynum and Theo Ratliff. While Bynum can be a force in the NBA, he has been injured more than he has been healthy in the last couple of years and both years the Lakers won the NBA title. Ratliff is new to the team so he has not contributed much so far. Mehmet Okur is out for the Jazz and he is a player that the Jazz will miss. These injuries will impact the Jazz more than the Lakers because the Lakers have a very deep bench and the Jazz are weak in that area. The Lakers have locked down on defense the last few games holding their opponents to under 40 %.
Odds and Pick
In spite of the fact that I am nervous about this game because I don’t understand the betting line that the oddsmakers have posted at sports betting sites, I am going to have to bet 8 units on the Lakers -1.5 to win and 3 units on the score to be over 203.