Lakers visit Nuggets on NBA betting schedule

By: Adam Markowitz | Thursday, January 20, 2011
Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony is still in Denver after a deal with the Nets fell through.

The Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets both have plenty to be angry about as they prepare for their NBA betting warfare at Pepsi Arena in Denver on Friday night.  The matchup is part of a packed slate of games on the hardwood.

ESPN will have the pickup of this game on television starting at 7:30 p.m. (PT), and preceded by the Knicks, Spurs contest in San Antonio.

For the Lakers, disappointment really stems from the loss at the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. In spite of the fact that Dirk Nowitzki was kept under wraps, LA really couldn't figure out how to stop anyone else on the team, as there were three other Mavs that scored at least 20 points on the night.

The 109-100 setback was the most recent in a season full of games that just make you scratch your head about the Lakers, this despite their rock-solid 31-13 record and pace to win 58 games.

Head coach Phil Jackson and company haven't been on the road all that much in the 2011 calendar year, and they have also yet to cover the NBA odds in one of these games away from Staples Center either. Los Angeles is just 2-2 SU and 0-3-1 ATS on the road since a December 29 triumph over the New Orleans Hornets.

As always when you're analyzing the NBA betting lines on the men in purple and gold, you have to talk about the three stars – Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom. All three put up at least 20 points in the loss at Dallas, and they are all in fine form at the moment. The trio is combining to average a whopping 59.2 PPG, 25.1 RPG and 11.5 APG, and they are 1-2-3 in all but rebounding on the team.

The big question is where the rest of the scoring is coming from.  The only other player averaging double digits in scoring per night is Andrew Bynum, who is dealing with an elbow injury that could limit him on Friday.

For the hosts, their frustration is that Carmelo Anthony is still on the team. There is no doubt that the Nuggets are trying to move 'Melo before he opts out of his contract at the end of the season, but there really only seems to be one interested trading partner right now, the New York Knicks.

The New Jersey Nets bowed out of the trade talks earlier this week, which really does leave Denver between and rock and a hard place with its biggest star.

The good news is that Anthony continues to play well, as he is coming off of a 35-point effort against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is pacing the league's best offense at 107.3 PPG, averaging 23.5 PPG this year.

Anthony has a tendency to shine against the best teams in the NBA as well. He already has 35 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, 31 against the San Antonio Spurs, 35 against the Orlando Magic, 32 against the Chicago Bulls and 32 against these Lakers already this season.

In the Nov. 11 game against LA, the Nuggets were three-point underdogs at home and came away with a 118-112 win thanks to 'Melo and the offense. Denver is now 4-0-1 ATS and 4-1 SU over the course of the last five games in this series, and for whatever reason, it just seems to have the Lakers' number.

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