NBA Saturday

Don't fall asleep on the Lakers just yet

With another Saturday comes another fantastic slate of NBA games, including some notable showdowns between the Lakers and Warriors, the Bulls and Hawks and the Jazz and Heat. You won’t want to miss out on some premium money-making spots, so check out the breakdowns from the best games of the day and the point-spreads.

Chicago Bulls +3 at Atlanta Hawks -3

After a hot start, the Hawks have hit a small skid, losing their last two games. Meanwhile, the Bulls are on an upswing and have won their last two, including a big one last night against New York on the road. Both teams bring in stellar defenses, but Atlanta has cooled off offensively, shooting under 40% from the field in three out of its last four games. Chicago has also gotten the better of Atlanta lately, winning five out of the last six meetings, including three out of four last season.

Since Chicago is the hot team and matches up well against Atlanta, I like the Bulls to cover +3 and win outright today.

Utah Jazz +9.5 at Miami Heat -9

As the Jazz continue to fail to find traction, the Heat seem to be hitting their stride. Miami has won three straight and has held the last six opponents under 100 points, something it took a lot of pride in during its championship run a season ago.

“We know each other,” LeBron James┬ásaid of his teammates via “We can close our eyes and (know) where we’re going to be offensively and defensively.”

While the Heat have excelled both at home and on the road so far this season, the Jazz have been a completley different team away from home. Utah is 9-2 on its home floor and just 5-11 on the road, which will make Saturday’s game at AmericanAirlines Arena even more of a challenge.

Although the spread is fairly large here, I like the way the Heat are playing enough to take them to cover -9 today and if you watched them recently, you’ll know to do the same.

Los Angeles Lakers +1 at Golden State Warriors 0

This will likely be the closest, most competitive and most interesting match-up of the day as the Lakers will look to improve their win streak to four games against a Warriors team that has surprised just about everyone with their amazingly hot start.

Pau Gasol is back in the fold for LA, whereas Steve Nash will not return until Christmas. Meanwhile, the Warriors are extremely healthy and seem to firing on all cylinders, as winners of eight of their last 10 games.

The Lakers are certainly playing better recently, but I’m not convinced they have fixed all the leaks just yet. They are certainly a team that will wake up at some point and go on a big run, but I’m not sure that time is now. Considering how consistently well the Warriors have played all year, it’s hard to go against them when they are getting an even spread against a team that is still trying to figure things out. When you add in the fact that Golden State is at home, where they are 10-6 this season, taking GS to win outright seems like a no-brainer.