Betting Trends Signal Spurs Will Win Tonight vs. Nets

Jason Lake

Saturday, November 22, 2014 1:05 PM UTC

Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 1:05 PM UTC

Just like last year, the Brooklyn Nets are off to a slow start. They’re getting nine points from the NBA odds for Saturday night’s road game against the defending champions, the San Antonio Spurs.

Jason’s record as of Nov. 21: 10-7 ATS

Profit: plus-6.43 units

If last year taught us anything, it’s not to count out the Brooklyn Nets. They got off to a horrible 3-10 SU and 4-9 ATS start in their return to the Empire State, but the Nets would bounce back and eventually reach the second round of the playoffs. So there’s hardly any need to panic over Brooklyn’s 5-7 SU and ATS start to the 2014-15 campaign.

The first thing the Nets have to worry about is the San Antonio Spurs (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS). They’ll be the hosts for Saturday night’s game at the Death Star; our NBA odds at press time have San Antonio laying nine points with a total of 194. This has traditionally been a very tough matchup for the Nets, who have lost 21 of their last 23 meetings (regular season and playoffs) at 7-16 ATS. That’s going all the way back to the 2003 NBA Finals.


Hold the Patty
The Spurs have managed to keep a few players around from that team. Tim Duncan (19.8 PER), Tony Parker (15.1 PER) and Manu Ginobili (15.5 PER) are all still playing meaningful minutes for San Antonio, and while Parker has struggled to match his usual output, he exploded for 28 points in Friday’s 121-92 cakewalk over the Minnesota Timberwolves (+11 at home). And he did it in just 25 minutes.

Good thing, because the Spurs aren’t quite as deep as usual. Patty Mills (shoulder) started the season on the injured list and isn’t due back until January. Meanwhile, Cory Joseph (17.8 PER) has really stepped up his game, but Joseph was knocked out of Friday’s contest with what’s being described as a mild ankle sprain. He might be all right to go for Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET, YES); if not, off-guards like Ginobili will have to soak up some minutes at the point.

Parker’s early struggles and the absence of Mills have had their impact on San Antonio’s offense. Last year, the Spurs were No. 6 overall in efficiency at 108.2 points per 100 possessions. This year: just 99.1 points per 100, or No. 24 overall. They’ve compensated somewhat with their defense, which has improved from 100.1 points allowed/100 to 95.7, good for third place behind Houston and Golden State (all NBA stats were through Thursday’s action). The UNDER is 9-3 for San Antonio as a result.


Double J Ranch
Brooklyn was also in action Friday night, pulling out a narrow 94-92 victory on the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder (–1.5). That effort snapped a five-game losing streak for the Nets at 1-4 ATS; back-up PG Jarrett Jack (15.4 PER) saved Brooklyn’s bacon with a 23-point effort on 8-of-15 shooting, one of those rare performances off the bench that Jack delivers just often enough to stay gainfully employed.

Jack had a minus-0.3 BPM (Box Plus-Minus) going into Friday’s game, but that makes him one of Brooklyn’s finest at this point. The backcourt of Deron Williams (plus-1.4 BPM) and Joe Johnson (plus-1.0 BPM) is doing all right, but center Brook Lopez (minus-2.1 BPM) has been an offensive sinkhole despite his 19.1 PER. And swingman Bojan Bogdanovic (minus-0.3 BPM) hasn’t done much other than shoot 37.1 percent from downtown. Kevin Garnett (minus-1.9 BPM)? At least he can still play defense.

Again, we need to cut the Nets some slack. They were a completely remodeled team when they first arrived from New Jersey, and this year, they have a new head coach in Lionel Hollins, while players like Paul Pierce and Shaun Livingston are no longer around. Still, we’ll happily fade the Nets until they sort things out. Put San Antonio in our NBA picks for the standard 1.4 units in our Kelly betting strategy.


The Five Stars
Depth/Travel/Rest: SAS
Defense: SAS
Coaching: SAS
Market Bias: BRK
Betting Line Value: BRK
Verdict: 1-star pick on SAS

Free NBA Pick: Bet 1.4 units on the Spurs at 5Dimes

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