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Free Pick: Houston vs. L.A. Gambling Lines & NBA Handicapping Preview

NBA Gambling: Rockets vs Lakers

The 2014-15 NBA preseason has reached it conclusion, and the Los Angeles Lakers are ready to host the Houston Rockets on opening night. Cappers Picks provides free NBA handicapping tips all season long, so check back often for our 4* Free plays.

NBA Betting Odds

Houston vs Los Angeles
Date/Time: 10:30 PM ET, Tue, Oct. 28, 2014
Venue: STAPLES Center
Broadcast: TNT
NBA Betting Spread Odds: Houston -7.5
NBA Betting Over/Under Odds:  214
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The Los Angeles Lakers are set to host this one, which is good for fans in L.A., as they need any advantage they can get at this point in the process.

After going 27-55 in 2013-14 (the franchise’s worst season to date) and watching Kobe Bryant play in just six games, the team is ready to start anew. The problems is, they’ve already been given some bad news.

After injuring his back this offseason, Steve Nash is out for the year. This was expected to be his last season, meaning that the newest injury has officially put his career in jeopardy.

Although Nash’s impact was going to be questionable anyway considering his recent health and production, this is more a blow to the mentality (and checkbook) of the team.

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The hope now is that Bryant doesn’t suffer any sort of considerable setback throughout the year either.

But enough with the bad. L.A. should be improved this season. Although the swap of Pau Gasol for Carlos Boozer isn’t considered an upgrade, the team has brought on an exciting young rookie in Julius Randle. The team is also looking to integrate Jeremy Lin as a key cog in the rotation, whom they traded for this past offseason.

Speaking of Lin, the Rockets were the ones who traded away the guard to L.A. In fact, Houston will be missing out on a couple of familiar faces, as not only Lin, but Omer Asik and Chandler Parsons are gone as well.

So who do the Rockets still have? Essentially, just James Harden and Dwight Howard if you’re looking for big-time experience.

Alongside the two superstars you have a plethora of unproven prospects. The Rockets were considered losers this offseason with their failed attempts to procure a third superstar, but they still have the two best players on the floor in this contest assuming Bryant doesn’t come out with a monumental return (although you really can’t put that past him, can you?)

Recent NBA Betting Trends

  • Over is 8-2-1 in HOU last 11 vs. NBA Pacific.
  • Over is 13-4 in HOU last 17 vs. Western Conference.
  • Over is 6-2 in HOU last 8 road games.
  • Under is 6-2 in LAL last 8 overall.
  • Under is 6-2 in LAL last 8 vs. Western Conference.
  • Over is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings in Los Angeles.
  • Favorite is 7-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings.

The opening line on this one is 7.5 in favor of the Houston Rockets. At this point, that seems like a fair spot to start.

Although the Rockets are likely going to struggle to be as good as they were last year, the Lakers are going to struggle to be good at all.

4* Free Pick: Houston -7.5

L.A. may have home-court advantage and a few new faces entering this contest, but Clutch City should push winning by double digits on opening night in Tinseltown.

Check out our Updated NBA Betting Odds.

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