How to Bet the 8 Point Spread in Tonight's Spurs vs. Lakers

David Lawrence

Friday, November 14, 2014 2:42 PM GMT

Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 2:42 PM GMT

The San Antonio Spurs lost three of their first five games this season and looked like a vulnerable team. Then came a road trip to California and the Spurs have straightened out their season with back-to-back wins. A third in a row is likely as the Spurs are an eight-point favorite in Los Angeles for Friday’s matchup according to the NBA betting lines.

The San Antonio Spurs Can Win Because…
Their quality of play has finally returned to what the NBA is accustomed to. The Spurs finally looked like the defending NBA champions against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night and especially against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. The Spurs beat the Clippers with defense, and they beat the Warriors with offense. The bottom line, though, is that a team which had suffered a recent loss to the New Orleans Pelicans was able to reorganize itself and get more production out of Kawhi Leonard. It has been a frequently-reported story over the past week: Leonard is losing confidence and form. It is true that Leonard has had a problem seeing out of both of his eyes, due to a condition that could persist for a long time.

Leonard had been struggling a lot as a three-point shooter, so what did he do? He decided to focus on his defense. A couple of fourth-quarter steals against the Clippers helped turn that game around, enabling the Spurs to grab an 89-85 win. That event seemed to awaken and inspire the Spurs, who then played their best offensive game of the season against Golden State, winning by a score of 113-100. Tony Parker scored 28 points while Tim Duncan grabbed 13 rebounds. This team is playing well again, and versus a Laker team that is last in the NBA in defense – allowing 111.5 points per game – San Antonio’s offense should be able to do whatever it wants. The Lakers are 26th in rebounding, so the Spurs should own the glass as well.

 

The Los Angeles Lakers Can Win Because…
They're playing a team that still isn’t shooting the three-point shot very well. San Antonio is hitting just 30.3 percent of its threes to this point in the season, through seven games. It’s true that seven games is still a relatively small sample size, but on the other hand, this isn’t one or two games, either. It’s a lot more than that. If the Spurs aren’t hitting threes – and they didn’t through the first six games of the season; they were a solid 10 of 25 (40 percent) against Golden State) – their ball movement becomes a lot less significant. The Spurs want to create open threes after rotating the ball on the perimeter or going inside to Tim Duncan and having him kickout the ball to the wing. If San Antonio can’t hit open shots, the Lakers’ league-worst defense wouldn’t become as much of a negative factor. San Antonio’s offense is 23rd in the NBA for that simple reason: few players are hitting. The Lakers, who were not blown out at Memphis on Tuesday as many people were suspecting, have been playing teams close this past week. Don’t assume the Spurs will run away here.

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Outlook
The Lakers’ offense is averaging 102.6 points per game, so the Spurs might have some challenges to deal with on defense. However, San Antonio might have fixed things against Golden State. Take the Spurs with your NBA picks as they should roll over a horrible Laker team in this situation.

Free NBA Pick: San Antonio -8 at 5Dimes

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