Kobe Bryant isn't expected to make his return to the lineup on Thursday Tonight at 10:30pm ET as the Los Angeles Lakers welcome the rival Boston Celtics to the Staples Center.
However, the Lakers haven't missed a beat while Bryant has been recovering from an ankle injury, building their straight-up record to 42-13 while perched atop the Pacific Division. However the public favorite has struggled against the NBA odds this season, posting a 25-29-1 record against the spread including 14-16 on their home court.
Los Angeles continued its recent strong play by knocking off Golden State 104-94 on Tuesday night to post its fourth consecutive victory. Shannon Brown led the Lakers with 27 points while Andrew Bynum chipped in with 21 in the win over the Warriors.
The Celtics lead the Atlantic Division with a record of 33-18, but have choked on chalk at 19-31-1 against the spread this season. They are, however, a tasty 7-2-1 ATS in their past 10 vs. the Lakers.
Boston knocked off the Kings in Sacramento on Tuesday night by a 95-92 count, but failed to cover as 6-point road chalk. Rasheed Wallace and Paul Pierce led the Celts with 17 points each in the victory.
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The No. 19 Pittsburgh Panthers will roll into the Bradley Center on Thursday night to take on the Marquette Golden Eagles.
Marquette has won five straight games to improve to 16-8 overall and 12-6 vs. the college basketball odds.
The Golden Eagles' last game came on Saturday, when they got past South Florida by a score of 63-52. Lazar Hayward had 18 points in that game.
The Panthers held off West Virginia in a 98-95 triple-overtime win in their most recent contest, as Brad Wanamaker tossed in 24 points.
Pittsburgh is 19-6 overall and 12-8-2 against the spread on the season. See the NCAA Basketball Odds in the Bodog Sportsbook!
Top expert pick on this game: Feb. 13 the Mountain West Game of the Year on San Diego State; Feb. 3 it was Duke blowing out GA Tech as the Revenge Game of the Year. Sunday, Jan. 31 it was South Florida outright as an underdog to Pitt winning as our Sunday Game of the Year. Jan. 26 South Carolina beating Kentucky outright was the SEC East Game of the Year. Jan. 25 it was Wofford as the Southern Conference Game of the Year. Jan. 19 Wichita State wins as the MVC Game of the Year. Jan 9 it was Missouri as the ESPN2 Game of the Year. Jan. 6 Marquette was the Big East Game of the Year. They all won.
Tonight it's the SEC ESPNU Game of the Year among three Wise Guys and two Majors. Click now to purchase