NBA Betting: Defences to come out on top as 76ers meet the Hawks

The only consistency from the Los Angeles Lakers is inconsistency. And after a damaging loss to Oklahoma City, the question is whether their psyche can recover in time for the play-offs.

After dropping two of their last three, and giving up over 100 points in each, Mike Brown’s men will welcome the arrival of the lowly New Orleans Hornets to the Staples Center on Saturday to return to winning ways. Kobe Bryant hit 33 points in a 107-101 overtime win when the teams last met, two weeks ago, and despite questions over the relationship of the Lakers players with their coach, the visitors’ terrible offense will cope a limited threat.

With New Orleans short-handed, the hosts should win but with six games in eight days coming up, extra court time for the Lakers bench could see the margin closer than expected. The handicap betting gives a 12.5 start for the Hornets, making them good value at 1.91.

Having led their Division for most of the season, the Philadelphia 76ers are now feeling the heat from the Boston Celtics to hold onto first place. Added to the mix that 10 of the Sixers last 15 games are on the road – and the pressure is on to make their home games count.

In two previous meetings with the Atlanta Hawks this season, Philly has won by a combined total of 23 points but these are two sides who stake their reputation on defence so a low scoring affair is likely. The Hawks, a poor road team, have stuttered against other good defensive teams so there’s a good chance the 76ers complete a 3-0 sweep in style by more than their -6 handicap at 1.91.

The San Antonio Spurs have a formidable 20-4 home record this season and with three days rest, they will look to extend that further against the Indiana Pacers. But the Spurs, attempting to rest their stars, have made a habit of winning close games of late so odds of +8 on Indiana may do them a disservice.

Bet of the Day: Bet under 178 total combined points in Atlanta against Philadelphia at 1.91