NBA Daily Picks: Can Lakers hang with Dwight's new buddies?

Dwight Howard and James Harden host the Lakers Thursday. (USATSI)
Dwight Howard and James Harden host the Lakers Thursday. (USATSI)

Picks against the spread analysis for Thursday, November 7

Full Expert Picks | Odds | Scoreboard

Tuesday results: Clippers on a road trip with a look ahead against the Natural Born Spread Killers (Magic) was foolish. That was folly. I accept that. Trusting the Sixers again was boneheaded. But after that, we did OK.  Bobcats came through for us, the good Warriors showed up and the Pacers continue to beast. Not an awesome night, but I'll take .500 whenever I can get it. 

Tuesday: 5-5 YTD: 37-29-3. 


GAME: Hawks at Nuggets
 Nuggets (-3.5)

Winless teams get desperate. They have to get off the snide. It's a professional pride thing. They play harder and harder until that win comes. The Nuggets are a team with a lot of guys used to winning who have fallen flat on their face out of the gate, with two home losses. 

The Hawks are on a West Coast road trip and those things get annoying. Players focus starts to wane and the Hawks' defense can't really afford much in the way of a break in concentration. 

But the Nuggets had a home win locked up and threw it away. They have looked outmatched, and the Hawks started to figure some things out in Sacramento. Atlanta is +1.6 vs. the spread, Denver -7.5. You can't trust either of these teams. 


GAME: Lakers at Rockets
 Rockets (-13.5)
PICK: Rockets cover

That's a lot of points. Just a lot of points. Home, vs. a team on a road trip, yes. But thirteen and a half?

But then you start to realize the Rockets dominated a good Blazers team on the road, and what are they going to do with an opportunity to validate Dwight Howard's decision to join them? What are they going to do against that joke of a defense? What are they going to do with a defensive set that only requires them to make sure Nick Young doesn't hit stupid shots?

The perimeter defense for Houston is bad. 

It's worse for the Lakers. 

But man, that's a lot of points. 

I've Got A Bad Feeling About This

GAME: Clippers at Heat
 Heat (-5.5)
PICK:  Heat cover

The Clippers are so good... but the Heat are better. The Heat have looked so uninspiring... when they have been uninspired. Huge chance for a statement game... for either team.

It's just a really set of matchups. The Clippers are on a back to back, road-and-road, so that leans towards laying the points. But the Clippers may have dogged it Wednesday night because they were gearing up for the Miami game. 

Just no way to feel good about this one, not at five and a half. Should be a fun watch, though. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Moore's colleagues have been known to describe him as a "maniac" in terms of his approach to covering the NBA, which he has done for CBS Sports since 2010. Moore prides himself on melding reporting,... Full Bio

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