The 20-7 New York Knicks will make the trip out west on Christmas Day to face Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers in an NBA pro basketball game on Tuesday afternoon. Tip off time from Staples Center in Los Angeles is scheduled for 3PM Eastern Time with national television coverage provided by ABC TV.
The NBA odds from this game will be our on Christmas Eve afternoon. The Sagarin Ratings suggest the game at a pick to Knicks a -1 point favorite depending on how you do the rounding.
The Knicks and Lakers went head to head on December 13th and it was the New York with the 116-107 home win as a -5 ½ point favorite. The total landed over 206 points. The Knicks jumped out early as they built a 68-49 lead at the half but the Lakers chipped way late and tried to make it a game until the Knicks pull away late. Carmelo Anthony has 30 points on 10 of 15 shooting. The Knicks bench chip in with 38 points. Kobe Bryant had 31 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort. Trend: New York Knicks are 1-4 ATS in their past five games.
New York is 8-5 on the road this season. They just completed a six game home stand where they finished up at 4-2. The Knicks had tilted on defense in recent games giving up high point totals in excess of well over 100 points. They get back on track off a Sunday performance where they beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 94-91 as a -8 point favorite. The game went under 201 points. After allowing Minnesota 55 first half points the Knicks lock down in the second half and allow the Timberwolves just 36 points.
The Lakers have strung together four straight wins but the last two were a little too close for comfort. On Tuesday they squeeze through a bad Charlotte team 101-100 as a -12 ½ point favorite. On Saturday night the team travels to Golden St and comes away with a 118-115 road overtime win as a -1 ½ point betting favorite. The game flies over 215 points. The win saw the return of Steve Nash into the Lakers lineup after suffering a fractured leg early in the season. LA had to overcome a 13 point deficit after three quarters to force the overtime period. Steve Nash played nearly 41 minutes and scored 12 points while dishing out 9 assists. Kobe Bryant in 43 minutes had 34 points and ten rebounds. The Lakers bench contributes with 46 points. Worth noting that the combination of Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard took just 19 of the Lakers 107 shot attempts. It is hard to see the Lakers at their age to play at this furious pace. Hard to imagine Nash being able to play heavy minutes night in and night out. The schedule works out fine in this spot as the team has two days of rest between games.