NBA Betting – Will Kobe make it to Portland on Saturday?


Lakers vs. Trailblazers Odds - NBA Betting Saturday PreviewIt’s not quite as big as Super Bowl odds, but anytime the Los Angeles Lakers are involved in an NBA betting matchup, it’s bound to raise some eyebrows. The defending NBA champions will head to Portland on Saturday night, and the jury is still out on whether their leader will be there.

Lakers vs Trailblazers odds – Saturday, February 6, 10:00 PM ET

The Lakers (38-12 as of Friday) still have to host Denver on Friday night at the Staples Center, and they may be without Kobe Bryant, who is finally considering taking a game or two off. This time it’s an ankle injury, but Bryant has been dealing with back and finger injuries all season, and that’s just what we know about. This has to mean more touches for the rest of the Lakers, and mainly Pau Gasol, who has grumbled from time to time about his role in the offense, and more to the point, Bryant’s domination of the triangle offense. In their lone meeting with the Trailblazers this year, Bryant lit Portland up for 33 points, while Lamar Odom had a stat-stuffing day with 15 points, 13.0 boards, five assists and four steals.

You don’t have to tell the Trailblazers (30-22) about injuries, as there are few teams in the NBA that could complain about that than Portland, who are still missing Brandon Roy. LaMarcus Aldridge is trying to step up in his absence, and he’s averaged 22.6 points and 8.8 rebounds over his last five games. Aldridge was thought by many to be a star coming out of Texas a few years ago, but he’s seemed happy to let Roy take over the offense. But Aldridge is very similar to another former Longhorn, Kevin Durant. Aldridge doesn’t have Durant’s explosiveness, but he can score in a lot of different ways, and he’s better on the glass. Roy had 32 points when the Trailblazers won 107-98 at home on January 8th, and Jerryd Bayless added 21.

The Trailblazers should be the favorites at home according to your gambling software, and the Lakers have lost a staggering nine in a row at the Rose Garden. The Lakers are a spectacular 9-3 in the second half of back-to-back games this season, but that’s with Bryant in the lineup, and he’s been known to take over when he feels the rest of the Lakers are tiring. They’ll be facing a tough Denver team on Friday, while the Trailblazers had a day off after beating San Antonio in a close game on Thursday night. Look for the Trailblazers to come out with more engery and try to push the pace on the Lakers from the opening tip-off. We’re also betting on Bryant not being in the lineup.

Free sports betting pick: Portland

Super Bowl Betting – Super Bowl XLIV Preview


Super Bowl Betting OddsThe Super Bowl betting odds are up for the big game, so here is a preview of Super Bowl XLIV:

Super Bowl XLIV – New Orleans Saints @ Indianapolis Colts Odds ( reviews): Colts -5.5

Super Bowl betting is at a fever pitch as the game is only a few days away. One of the things driving this year’s betting activity is that the teams that reigned as the best two in football made it to the big game. There is not underdog, no Cinderella (although the Saints could be considered a Cinderella story) and there are really no surprises. The one surprise we do find is that the Saints are so heavily favored to win.

To me this game was a pick ‘em until the super bowl betting x-factor reared its head. Your x-factor for the outcome of this game is Colts’ defensive end Dwight Freeney. If Freeney plays in Super Bowl XLIV, he will do so on a limited basis and he will not be effective at all. His bad ankle is causing him to wear a protective boot, and he risks long-term injury if he plays on Sunday. When the Colts play without Freeney the games become a shootout because Freeney is the Colts pass rush. This time the QB on the other end of that shoot out is Drew Brees.

On the Saints side of the ball, they are clicking on all cylinders. The Saints are checking in with no injuries leading in to the Super Bowl, and they looked very impressive in remaining resilient enough to fend off Brett Favre and the Vikings in the NFC Championship game. The Saints defense can be dicey and unpredictable, but their offense is lethal if left unchecked.

Comparing the numbers the Saints defense in the regular season had 35 sacks while the Colts had 34 with Dwight Freeney having 13.5 of those sacks. On special teams both the Colts and the Saints have a kick-off return for a TD while the Saints add a punt return TD to their side of the ledger. As you would expect from teams with such great QBs neither team had a rusher go for over 1,000 yards during the season, however Colts’ RB Joseph Addai poses a threat as he scored 10 rushing TDs in 2009. Both Drew Brees and Peyton Manning threw for over 4,000 yards and 30 TDs in 2009 as well.

This game comes down to intangibles. The Saints are new to this kind of spotlight while the Colts are old hands at being champions. Drew Brees is a great leader and precision quarterback, but there is a reason that Peyton Manning is the 2009 NFL MVP. Manning knows how to get the most out of his offensive line and his receivers, and Peyton Manning has proven that he knows how to win in almost every circumstance. However the absence of Dwight Freeney turns Super Bowl XLIV into a shoot out, and the Colts secondary was only able to pick up 16 interceptions this season. There will not be nearly the needed pressure on Drew Brees, and the Saints receivers will be running the Colts’ secondary ragged. Peyton Manning, on the other hand, will have the full fury of the Saints pass rush in his face and a secondary that snagged 26 interceptions this year. Peyton is a warrior and a hall of famer, but even he has his limits.

NFL Picks: Saints 35 - 24


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