NBA Sunday Cheat Sheet: Kobe’s Return Flops; Pistons Serves Another Upset Against Miami

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By James Patrick Quizon | December 9, 2013 11:26 AM EST

Betting Lines: Toronto Raptors (+5) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (203.5)
Game time: 12:30 pm AEDT

Kobe Bryant, who? According to Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni, he’ll limit Bryant to just less than 20 minutes. With Kobe back of course, D’Antoni won’t be making the decisions. This is a Raps team that was destroyed by Bryant countless times before, so this is the perfect comeback game for the Black Mamba and his torn Achilles.

Then again, it’s desperation time at the Raps camp. They are way below respectability or the 0.500 record with just 6 wins against 12 losses. They are on a 5-game losing skid with bad losses to the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns. Still, plus-5 is nice value here. Lakers will win but will not cover.

Pick: Raptors ATS
Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers 100, Toronto Raptors 96

Betting Lines: Indiana Pacers (+5.5) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (194.5)
Game time: 10:00 am AEDT

Something’s amiss here. The Pacers just beat—convincingly at that—the San Antonio Spurs, and yet they are dogs by 5.5 points? Unfortunately for Paul George, Roy Hibbert and the rest of the Pacers, this is a game which OKC marked their calendar on.

The Thunder are simply unbeatable at home with a 9-0 in OKC with home wins over the Los Angeles Clippers (105-91), San Antonio Spurs (94-88), Golden State Warriors (113-112 OT) and Minnesota Timberwolves (113-103). Oklahoma City knows how to protect their home floor—especially against the perceived contenders or powerhouse teams.

Picks: Thunder ATS, Over 194.5
Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder 105, Indiana Pacers 95

And some quick picks…

Betting Lines: Miami Heat (-3.5) vs. Detroit Pistons (196.0)
Game time: 9 am AEDT
Pick: Pistons ATS

Betting Lines: Orlando Magic (+12.5) vs. Houston Rockets (209.0)
Game time: 10:00 am AEDT
Pick: Rockets ATS, Over 209.0

WIN-LOSS RECORD Year to Date: 22-13

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