Jazz vs. Lakers Preview + Free Pick Game 2 May 7th, 2008
By: Our Staff
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NBA Playoff Betting Action – Lakers to Extend Lead Over Jazz
While the Utah Jazz, (58-31 SU, 49-40 ATS, 45-43-1 O/U) are undoubtedly one of the better teams in the NBA, their struggles against the online betting favorite Los Angeles Lakers, (62-25 SU, 52-33-1 ATS, 41-45 O/U) this season are clearly apparent after viewing the opening game of their second round playoff series – and four regular season matchups – against their Western Conference rivals, which the Lakers easily won three of.
While the Jazz rallied in the game’s closing minutes to make it a close affair, this contest was never really in doubt as the Lakers got a spectacular 38-point performance from newly named league MVP Kobe Bryant on 8-for-16 shooting from the field and 21-for-23 shooting from the free throw line.
However, the series could get a lot more physical beginning with tonight’s Game 2 matchup after listening to both teams.
“They play a very physical game, let the referees make a decision on what’s a foul and what isn’t,” Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said. “They scrum, they get in the lane, they’re after the ball, they’re pushing and shoving. It’s not our style. We are going to play the kind of game we have to play. Just be more resilient, that’s all.”
Jazz all-star power forward Carlos Boozer said his team needs to get more physical – immediately.
“I think we can do a good job of getting the ball inside a little bit more,” Boozer said. “I think we settled for jump shots at times. We’re stronger than them. They’re longer than we are, but we have some guys that like to get in there and bang around a little bit and move some bodies and try to get the ball, which is going to be the key for us in this series. We need to continue to go inside and make them work inside.”
The Lakers have approached the playoffs with the desperation of a team looking to stay alive one more day.
“Every game is Game 7. That’s been our approach,” Lakers star Kobe Bryant said. “I think with each win, we get more confident. Utah is a much bigger challenge for us than the first round.”
Utah Jazz point guard Deron Williams wanted to remind everyone that one loss does not a series make.
“It’s a seven-game series,” he said. “We’ve lost one game. We’ve just got to stay poised and try to get this next one. We want to try to get back to where we were. We don’t want to go back to Salt Lake down 0-2. We’ve been in that situation before and it’s not pretty.”
Here is a look at tonight’s key trends followed by my NBA Betting Free Picks:
The Jazz are 5-1 ATS in their last six after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
The Jazz are 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a S.U. loss.
The Lakers are 7-0 ATS in their last seven after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
The Lakers are 6-0 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
The Under is 4-0 in Jazz last four road games vs. a team with a home winning percentage of greater than .600.
The Under is 4-0 in Lakers last four games following a S.U. win.
The Home team is 8-2 ATS in the last ten meetings.
The Over is 6-2 in the last eight meetings in Los Angeles.
Analysis: I’m going to keep this pick short and directly to the point for my beloved NBA bettors. I like the Lakers to win this game as every Lakers victory this season over the Jazz, in 4-out of 5 games including their Game 1 postseason contest, has been by double digits. With Carlos Boozer, Andrei Kirilenko and Ronnie Brewer all scoring less points per game in the playoffs than they did in the regular season, I say take the Lakers to cover the spread while going up 2-0 in this series.
NBA Free Picks: Lakers-7 Points/Over 209½ Total Points
10:35 PM EST NBA Odds
Utah Jazz +7 -110
LA Lakers -7 -110
Over 209½ -110
Under 209½ -110
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