L.A. Lakers -7 ½ vs. Detroit Pistons: The Lakers are on their longest road trip of the season, and so far they appear ready to handle teams on their home court. Detroit is devastated by injuries with star players Allen Iverson, Rahseed Wallace and Richard Hamilton all sidelined. Moreover, the Lakers haven’t forgotten an early season home loss to the Pistons, and will be primed to win this one comfortably. Take the Lakers and lay the points.
Duke -2 ½ vs. Villanova: Villanova is getting plenty of respect in this spot, based partially on their easy win over UCLA. But the game was a scheduling nightmare for the Bruins, which had to travel cross-country, play an early game, against a team that was practically at home. Duke will be a much better match-up, and even though they aren’t as intimidating as year’s past, their coaching should catapult them into the Final Four. Take the Blue Devils and lay the small number.