Basketball Betting — Lakers and Bucks Send Out the Year with L.A. Battle

Was Pau Gasol sick or wasn’t he? That appears to be a real point of debate, not only among basketball bettors, but among Gasol’s Los Angeles Laker teammates as well. Those are the kinds of things that happen when you’re your team has lost five games in a row, and that’s what the Lakers are facing as they do battle with the Milwaukee Bucks in this New Year’s Eve matchup that begins at 10:40 PM ET at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Currently the Lakers are at 13-18, and only two teams have worse records than they do in the Western Conference. No one has Milwaukee beat when it comes to futility in the NBA, however, as the Bucks have a 6-24 straight up record. They are also only 11-19 against the NBA odds. Statistically speaking, these are the NBA’s two worst rebounding teams (that is, in rebound margin).

In the basketball betting odds that have been posted on this game at BetAnySports Offshore Sportsbook, the Lakers are laying some points, although they certainly aren’t a healthy bunch:

Basketball betting odds courtesy of BetAnySports Sportsbook

3 Keys To 2013-14 Success: Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers -5.5
Milwaukee Bucks +5.5

Over 202.5 points -110
Under 205.5 points -110

The Lakers’ injury list is lengthy; of course, they will be waiting at least six weeks for superstar Kobe Bryant to return, and point guards Steve Nash and Steve Blake are also out. Xavier Henry, who was a potentially explosive offensive player, will be missing from the rotation for at least a week as he strained his knee in the last game against Philadelphia. One player who was absent against the Sixers who will be returning tonight for the Lakers is Gasol, who took himself out of the lineup with a respiratory ailment. Let’s just say not all of his teammates bought into that “illness.” And it was up to coach Mike D’Antoni to exercise damage control, by insisting that his power forward was indeed sick.

As basketball bettors have seen, the Bucks have been awful; they simply lack talent. It’s not that they have defended so badly, but they have allowed opponents the opportunity for a lot of second-chance points. The return of Larry Sanders to the lineup offers some help in that area. Sanders had sat out two months with a broken thumb; the result of a bar brawl in which he was able to escape being hit with criminal charges. NBA bettors are well aware that Sanders has the ability to intimidate people coming through the paint, as he is a master shot-blocker. In the two games he’s played for Milwaukee since returning, he’s had 19 points, 17 rebounds and two blocked shots.

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The Bucks have obviously not been on a good run lately; in fact, they have lost eight of their last nine games. BetAnySports customers will want to take note of the fact that if the Lakers want to run, they can probably do it, providing they have enough personnel to do so. Milwaukee’s last eight games have gone over the total in the basketball betting odds.

Anyone who analyzes the NBA lines knows that the Western Conference is extremely competitive, and even the eventual return of Bryant isn’t going to guarantee the Lakers will be a playoff contender. You have to wonder, as this season progresses, and D’Antoni isn’t really able to implement his fast-paced offense, how long his tenure in Tinseltown is going to be.

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