Kobe Bryant and the Lakers kept their winning streak going last week and as a result held on to the top spot in the NBA Power Rankings.
The Lakers went 3-0 last week to extend their winning streak to seven games. During their streak they're also an impressive and profitable 6-1 ATS. Not only did Los Angeles keep winning last week but they did it in grand fashion on Sunday by clobbering the San Antonio Spurs 99-83 as a 3-point road underdog. Before that loss the Spurs has fallen only twice at home all season.
While the Lakers held firm at No. 1 this week a former No. 1 has started to tumble down the ranks. The Miami Heat had not been ranked lower than No. 2 this season, but that changed last week as they slipped to No. 3. Miami lost all three of their games last week and they've lost four in a row overall. Even worse for bettors - the Heat have dropped six straight ATS.
Later this week LeBron James and Kobe Bryant collide when the Lakers and Heat clash in Miami. A win by Miami might not be enough to push them to the top of the Power Rankings right away but it would be a step in the right direction after their recent struggles.
The Heat's loss this week turned out to be the Chicago Bulls' gain. Chicago moved into the No. 2 hole after a 3-1 week that included a win over the Heat. The Bulls have won five of their last six overall and they're also 5-1 ATS during that span. The Bulls have another busy week ahead of them with four games on tap but the only difficult matchup could be against Atlanta, who defeated them last week in an upset.
The biggest losers and gainers this week both moved three spots in the rankings. The Denver Nuggets moved up three to No. 9, while the Indiana Pacers fell three to No. 12.
The Nuggets have somehow played better since trading Carmelo Anthony. Denver was 3-1 last week and they've been paying off bettors all month long with a 7-1 ATS record in their last eight games.
The Pacers have dropped three in a row and have only one win in their last six games. They're slightly better ATS at 2-4 but not good enough for bettors to make any money off of them. There's a good chance the Pacers could rebound quickly this weekend with stops at Minnesota and Toronto on the schedule.