Best NBA Pick for Friday's Lakers vs. Spurs

David Lawrence

Thursday, December 11, 2014 7:06 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014 7:06 PM UTC

The Los Angeles Lakers did win their most recent game, but they’re still sitting at 6-16 in the Western Conference. The San Antonio Spurs lost earlier this week to the Utah Jazz. Can the Lakers pull off an NBA betting surprise in the Alamo City?

The Los Angeles Lakers Can Win Because…
Their defense is getting better. The Lakers still allow an average of roughly 110 points, but that average had been over 112 points earlier in the season. Los Angeles is slowly but surely shaving decimal points off that number and whittling it down to a much more manageable level, where this team has a much better chance of winning games. Los Angeles is only 6-16, but through five games in December, it is a decent 2-3, an improved winning percentage compared to what the Lakers had at the end of November. Los Angeles, in its five December games, has allowed an average of 105.8 points per game. That leaves room for improvement, but it’s a lot better than what had come before. Coach Byron Scott is enabling his players to make some discoveries, and he’s helping them to communicate better on the court.

Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant can still do it. In his advanced age and with his health problems, he can still explode every now and then – he just can’t do this as easily or as constantly as he used to. Nevertheless, in a 98-95 win over Sacramento on Tuesday night, Bryant poured in 32 points to go along with six assists. He ‘s still the leader of this team and an athlete who continues to show how great he is. The Spurs will not want Kobe to go off in this game – they might get a little worried.

The San Antonio Spurs Can Win Because…
They're the vastly superior team, playing at home, and equipped with a lot of rest for their best and oldest players.

Gregg Popovich did the thing again on Wednesday: He rested Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Kawhi Leonard all out of concern for their health and freshness – a little more injury-based in Leonard’s case, but more of a rest issue for Duncan and Parker in particular. Yet, with all those stars sitting on the pine, the Spurs still handled the New York Knicks. This is one of the ways in which the Spurs separate themselves from the rest of the NBA. Their depth enables them to rest their key guys and keep them in prime shape for the playoffs. It has to be a great source of comfort to the Spurs organization that it can do this kind of thing and still win.

At any rate, the Spurs’ stars should be ready to go (except for Leonard) in this game. San Antonio is 8-2 in its last 10 games while the Lakers are 3-7. San Antonio is also 8-1 in NBA Odds at home this season. Why wouldn’t the Spurs cover?

This is not a hard game to figure out. The Spurs are better. They’re going to be rested. They’re playing at home. Don’t overthink things here. Take the Spurs with your NBA Picks.

Free NBA Pick: San Antonio

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