Lakers At Houston Highlights Tonight’s NBA Action

Five games are on tap in the NBA tonight, with most eyes focusing on how the Lakers will cope with their injuries. Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill will all miss the Lakers/Rockets game tonight. Houston has won its last four games and are 13-6 at home this year, averaging 113.5 points during the streak. James Harden is the key to the Rockets attack; he has scored 25 or more points in 12 straight games. Chandler Parsons is questionable for the game tonight for Houston; he missed Monday’s practice with flu-like symptons. Parsons is averaging 14 points a game this year.

In other games:
Brooklyn at Philadelphia: The 76ers are 1.5 point favorites over Brooklyn. The Nets are 1-4 against the spread in their last five road games, while the 76ers have covered just three of their last 10 following a loss. The Nets and 76ers have gone under the total in nine of their last 11 meetings in Philadelphia.

Miami at Indiana: The Heat are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games. Miami is a two point road favorites, and the total is 187.

Phoenix at Milwaukee: The Suns come into tonight’s game as six point underdogs with a total of 199 on the game. Milwaukee will have a new head coach on the sidelines tonight: Scott Skiles is out after four years with the Bucks. Jim Boylan is the interim coach for Milwaukee.

Atlanta at Minnesota: Minnesota has covered four of their last five home games against teams with a winning road record. The T’Wolves favored by one point, with a total of 189.

NBA injuries:
* Heat forward LeBron James (ankle) is probable.
* Nets forward Kris Humphries (ankle) is questionable tonight.
* T’Wolves forward Kevin Love (hand) is out indefinitely.
* T’Wolves guard Ricky Rubio (back) is probable tonight.
* Lakers center Dwight Howard (shoulder) is out tonight.
* Lakers forward Pau Gasol (concussion) is out tonight.
* Lakers forward Jordan Hill (hip) is out tonight.
* Rockets forward Chandler Parsons (flu) is questionable.

Favorites Go 4-0 But Bookmakers Breathe a Sigh of Relief as Unders Save the Day



Sportsbooks dodged a bullet this past weekend as favorites went 4-0 against the spread, usually a clear sign that a rough week was in store. However, all four NFL games stayed under, destroying a number of favorite/over parlays (most parlay bettors like to bet that combination) and keeping sportsbooks from losing their shirts.

“We would have been in trouble had both the Packers/Vikings game and Indianapolis/Baltimore game gone over,” said one Las Vegas bookmaker. “It wasn’t a good weekend for us, but it could have been a lot worse.”

Books received heavy action on Seattle in the late Sunday game, and early on it looked good. The Redskins, plus three at kickoff after opening pick-em in most places, jumped to a 14-0 lead and seemingly had the game under control. The Seattle defense, however, shut down RGIII and Washington to score 24 unanswered points and win 24-14, their first road playoff win since beating the Dolphins in 1984.

In the other Sunday game, Baltimore received the majority of action as well. The Ravens were bet as high as eight point favorites against Indianapolis after opening -6, and won easily 24-9. While books did lose overall on the side, they did win the under in the game. Most punters bet the over, plus there was a very substantial number of bettors who took the Ravens/over in parlays.

Sportsbooks will likely be looking at a repeat of last weekend’s action as the NFL’s class teams all play their first playoff games this year. “It’s going to be all Denver/over parlays and New England/over parlays this weekend,” said the Las Vegas bookmaker. The Broncos opened up as 9.5 point favorites over Baltimore, with New England opening up as 9 point favorites over Houston.