NBA Betting Preview: LA Lakers visit Bulls

By: Joe Freda | Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Los Angeles Lakers have a 1-7 spread record in their last eight games, with the ‘under’ going 6-2.  Phil Jackson’s club travels east for the second contest of a seven-game road journey in Friday’s matchup against the Chicago Bulls, who are 1-4 ATS in their last five trips to the floor.

The Lakers began donning their road jerseys in Wednesday’s 87-86 win as 7 ½-point favorites against the Los Angeles Clippers.  Jackson’s crew came from behind, outscoring the Clippers in the fourth quarter, 22-15.

Lakers guard Derek Fisher made a driving layup with no time remaining to give his squad the win.  The 15-year veteran finished with six points and four rebounds.

Fisher’s mate Kobe Bryant notched a team-high 24 points, while adding four assists.  The 12-time All-Star hit 9-of-15 from the field, while adding one steal.

The tight battle’s combined 173 points plunged ‘under’ the NBA odds number of 204 ½.  Both foes united to drain 16-of-42 from beyond the arc, while connecting on 25-of-38 free throws.

The Lakers dropped to 5-5 ATS in their first 10 road games, with the ‘total’ also moving to 5-5.  Bryant and Co. have put up 104.9 PPG in that span.

Chicago picked up its third straight win in Wednesday’s 88-83 triumph as a 7 ½-point road favorite against the Cleveland Cavaliers.  The Bulls held Cleveland to 38.3 percent field-goal shooting, while being outscored on fast breaks, 16-14.

Bulls guard Derrick Rose logged team-highs of 29 points and eight assists.  The 22-year-old drained 3-of-6 from beyond the arc, while finishing with four rebounds.

Chicago’s Joakim Noah notched his third double-double in four games, piling in 13 points and 14 boards.  The New York native connected on 5-of-13 from the field, while committing five personal fouls.

The low-scoring duel’s combined 171 points dipped below the ‘total’ of 196 ½, bringing the ‘under’ to 5-2 in Chicago’s last seven games.  Both squads struggled from the charity stripe, uniting to hit 23-of-38 free throws.

Chicago is 4-4-1 ATS in its first nine home dates, with the ‘under’ cashing at 6-3.  Tom Thibodeau’s team has given up 100 PPG in that stretch, allowing 43 percent field-goal shooting from its opposition.

The Bulls are 3-2 ATS in their last five meetings against the Lakers, with the ‘over’ also going 3-2.

Chicago was defeated, 98-91, as an eight-point road dog in a Nov.23 battle between the foes.  Rose notched 30 points and eight assists for the Bulls, while Fisher struggled for Los Angeles in a 0-for-6 night from the field.

Friday’s tip is scheduled for 5 p.m. (PT), with ESPN providing the national television coverage as the front end of a doubleheader broadcast.  The second game features the Miami Heat visiting the Golden State Warriors.

Chicago will have no rest before Saturday’s home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.  The Lakers will have one day off before Sunday afternoon’s visit to Newark against the New Jersey Nets.

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