Kobe Bryant recently guaranteed that the Lakers (28-29 SU, 23-34 ATS) would make the playoffs, and they are starting to look like a potential playoff team on an 11-4 SU (7-8 ATS) run.
But will it be too little too late? They face the Nuggets (35-22 SU, 33-24 ATS) Monday and they have struggled to a 2-4 SU and ATS mark against Denver in the past year. [ Lakers vs Nuggets matchup stats ]
The historical situation is much better Thursday at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves (20-32 SU, 23-28-1 ATS). The Lakers is 20-0 SU and 11-8-1 ATS in its last 20 games against Minnesota, including 12 straight at home.
However, they are just 3-10-1 ATS in 14 home games against the TWolves dating back to March 2005.
The Indiana Pacers (35-21 SU, 32-24 ATS) face a pair of tough Western Conference foes at home this week as they host the Golden State Warriors (32-23 SU, 29-24-2 ATS) Tuesday and the Los Angeles Clippers (40-18 SU, 32-26 ATS) Thursday. Indiana is 23-5 SU and 18-10 ATS at home this season.
College basketball betting
The Marquette Golden Eagles (19-7 SU, 11-11 ATS) are 4-0 ATS and 2-2 SU in their last four games against the Syracuse Orange (22-5 SU, 13-9-1 ATS), and they'll look to pester the Orange once again this week when they host Syracuse on Monday night.
The Orange are just 4-4 SU and ATS over their last eight games since starting the season off 18-1 SU. [ Syracuse vs Marquette Preview ]
Hockey wagering preview
The defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings (8-6-2) have shaken off their slow start with a 5-1 record over their last six games, but they'll have a tough test at home Monday when they host the red-hot Anaheim Ducks.
Anaheim has won six straight games and has the second best record in hockey at 13-2-1. The Kings are 5-2 in their last seven games against the Ducks.
When will the Chicago Blackhawks lose a game in regulation? They stretched their regulation unbeaten streak to 18 games Sunday with a 1-0 win over Columbus and are now 15-0-3 on the season. [ Oilers vs Blackhawks matchup stats ]
They host the Edmonton Oilers (7-7-3) Monday before heading on the road to face the St. Louis Blues (10-6-2) Thursday. St. Louis is 4-1-1 over its last six games.