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Charlotte Bobcats vs. L.A. Lakers Free NBA Picks | Spread

Charlotte Bobcats vs Los Angeles Lakers Preview & Pick

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Charlotte vs. Los Angeles
Tonight, 10:30 p.m. ET
NBA betting favorite: Lakers -12.5
Total: 190

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On paper, this game feels like a laugher, right? The Lakers should run through Charlotte, so the 12.5-point spread is justified, right?

Hold the phone. Charlotte has won five of the last six meetings and eight of the last 10 with the Lakers. It’s 11-1 ATS over its last 12 against the Lakers and 5-0 ATS over its last five road games against them. So we have to take this pick seriously.

The Bobcats are in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt…I guess. They’re eight games under .500 but they’re just a game behind Indiana for eighth. However, they haven’t played like a playoff hopeful this week. The Magic covered an 11-point spread by cruising past Charlotte for a 100-86 win on February 27. Then came the utter humiliation against Denver. The Nuggets hammered the Bobcats 120-80 on Wednesday night. Now the 12.5-point spread for the Lakers makes a bit more sense.

The Lakers have hit their stride nicely since the All-Star weekend, going a perfect 5-0 (including 5-0 ATS). They had no trouble covering a nine-point spread against Minnesota, a 10.5-point spread against the Clippers and an eight-point spread against Atlanta over that span, so 12.5 points isn’t necessarily a pipe dream.

The nice thing for L.A. is that Kobe Bryant is staying fresh throughout the dominant stretch. Because the Lakers have often found themselves leading comfortably, they’ve limited Kobe’s minutes. He’s played 31 minutes or fewer three times during the five-game winning streak. If Charlotte somehow keeps it close tonight, the Lakers can unleash an extra fresh helping of Kobe.

It seems pretty clear that the Lakers will win this game. It may even seem clear that they’ll win by 10. But can they throttle Charlotte by 13 or more? I’m leaning towards no. The Bobcats have been blown out in consecutive games, yeah, but a team can only be humiliated so many times before it responds by at least keeping a game reasonably close.

Normally, long-term betting trends are meaningless, as they reflect completely different eras and rosters than the current games and teams you’re wagering on, but I found a very telling one for tonight’s game: The Lakers are 27-59 ATS over their last 85 games as a home favorite of 11 points or greater. That stat just shows how are it is in general for an NBA team on any given night to cover a spread that big. The odds just aren’t in L.A.’s favor.

Trends:

CHAR are 21-6 ATS in their last 27 vs. NBA Pacific.
Under is 6-2 in CHAR last 8 road games.
LAL are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 vs. NBA Southeast.
Under is 19-7 in LAL last 26 Fri. games.
Under is 15-7 in LAL last 22 home games.
CHAR are 11-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings.
Underdog is 11-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings.

Prediction: Lakers 108, Bobcats 99

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.


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