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NBA Playoffs Betting - valiant effort of Rockets won’t be enough to advance

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/3/2014 6:49:13 AM

Online sports betting fans should have split feelings about their NBA picks for the Lakers-Rockets odds series. On one hand, the Rockets’ valiant effort needs to be commended. Even without Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, the Rockets have pushed the top team in the West to the brink of elimination. On the other hand, why are the Lakers – the “best” team in the West – struggling so much against a short-handed Rockets squad?

  • Lakers should dictate the pace at home
  • The pressure to win is squarely on the Lakers
  • Rockets will have to play a perfect game to advance

The sportsbook odds makers have the home team Lakers listed as a double-digit favorite at -12, but oftentimes, the spread doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Those making their NBA picks can look to Game 6 of this series as evidence, when the Lakers lost by double-digits as a nine-point favorite.

The Lakers have struggled to gain control of this series and have not been able to dictate their pace in Houston. NBA picks handicappers have been looking to see whether the Lakers have the killer instinct, but outside of Game 3, they haven’t been able to dominate at the Toyota Center. But now that they’re back at home in the cozy confines of the Staples Center, the Lakers should be able to employ their high-scoring style.

Handicappers making their NBA picks know that the odds are solely based on who dictates the style, as the Lakers are unable to play defense as strong as the Rockets - and the Rockets are not able to score at the same pace as the Lakers. Whichever team controls the pace typically wins. In the Rockets’ three wins, the two teams have averaged a combined 184 points per game. In the Lakers’ three wins, the teams have combined for 202 points per game.

NBA picks handicappers know that the odds will be affected by another intangible factor on Sunday night: pressure. The Rockets – who are without Yao, without McGrady, and are a 12-point underdog – are not expected to win. If they do, it will be a great coupe. For the Lakers, not only are they expected to win this series, they are expected to win a Championship. If they fail to win Game 7, they will join the list of the most disappointing teams in NBA history.

The Lakers need to wake up. They are listed as a huge favorite on the odds and people making their NBA picks are expecting them to win this contest, but that doesn’t mean that they should assume a win – which is what they have done throughout this series. Even though the Rockets are shorthanded, they have still been good enough to make it to the second round of the playoffs, and they clearly don’t have any quit in them. If the Lakers assume a win as they did in Game 6, the result will be similar.

With the home crowd and home court advantage on their side, look for the Lakers to shoot a little better than the 35.7% they shot in Game 6 and advance past the courageous Rockets in a close game.

Craig Parsons’ Pick: Rockets +12

For more news on sports betting lines or NBA picks, check out the betonline.com Betting Edge daily.

Craig Parsons is an avid sports fan, but his true love has always been basketball. Too short to realize his dream of playing in the NBA, he did the next best thing: sports betting and covering basketball for a living. Thoughts or questions?.

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