Take OVER for Lakers-Spurs in San Antone

Jason Lake

Friday, October 26, 2018 7:13 PM UTC

Friday, Oct. 26, 2018 7:13 PM UTC

The Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs are about as different as it gets, but they have one thing in common for your NBA picks: Neither has gone UNDER this year.

Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Oct. 25: 2-1 ATS, 1-0 Totals

L.A. Lakers vs. San AntonioSaturday, 8:30 p.m. ET, San AntonioFree NBA Pick: OVERBest Line Offered: Bookmaker

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This feeding frenzy won’t last forever. When the NBA switched to the new 14-second inbound rule, it was like handing free money to sharp bettors; taking those 10 seconds off the clock means more possessions per game, and more possessions means more scoring. Combine that with the league’s insistence on calling ticky-tack fouls to keep the offense flowing, and presto: the OVER is 38-27 to start the 2018-19 campaign.

Let’s get some of this while the getting’s good. The Los Angeles Lakers (2-3 SU and ATS; OVER 4-0-1) will visit the San Antonio Spurs (2-2 SU and ATS; OVER 4-0) this Saturday night, and as you can see, neither team has gone UNDER yet. They will eventually, of course, even if the betting market doesn’t catch up and the officials don’t put those whistles back in their pockets. But we’re willing to put the OVER in our NBA picks until further notice.

Possession Obsession

The Lakers in particular have made it easy on us. Even before LeBron James made the move out West, this was one of the fastest teams in the NBA, thanks to head coach Luke Walton and his basketball wisdom. The Lakers were tied for second in pace last year at 102.6 possessions per game; they remain in second this year at 109.1 possessions. That is a lot of possessions – and now that James is involved, they’ve upped their scoring from 104.2 to 112.7 points per 100 possessions. Well done.

At the other end, the Spurs are still stuck in molasses. They’re at the bottom of the league in pace under head coach Gregg Popovich, but with the new rules, they’re getting in 99.3 possessions per game, up from 97.2 last year. Even better, the arrival of non-defender DeMar DeRozan (minus-3.6 DBPM through four games) in the Kawhi Leonard trade with Toronto has juiced their scoring up from 105.5 to 113.9 points/100.

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Such an intelligent entry pass from Lonzo Ball.

Waits for DeRozan to turn his head away from the ball. Puts it on the opposite shoulder from the help defender. pic.twitter.com/lrewyl19xe

— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) October 23, 2018
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But wait, there’s more. San Antonio, once known for their defense, are last in the league at 118.1 points allowed per 100 possessions. That’s not all on DeMar; the Spurs re-signed Marco Belinelli (minus-3.0 DBPM) during the offseason, and he’s getting plenty of burn this year with all those injuries in their backcourt. Bryn Forbes (minus-3.7 DBPM) is their new starting point guard, almost by default, and Patty Mills (minus-2.3 DBPM) is contributing to their malaise, too. And the Lakers aren’t terribly good at defense, either, ranking No. 24 overall at 111.7 points allowed/100. That’s what they get for letting Larry Nance Jr. go to Cleveland and keeping Kyle Kuzma (minus-3.0 DBPM) instead. Let’s profit from it before the NBA odds catch up.

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