NBA Picks: Spurs vs. Lakers Preview

Joe Freda

Sunday, April 14, 2013 3:17 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Lakers have seen the OVER cash at 4-0 in their last week of action, while now likely to lose veteran Kobe Bryant the rest of the way.

Sunday’s NBA betting has Mike D’Antoni’s club hosting the San Antonio Spurs, whose last seven matchups have had UNDER wagers collect at 5-2. 

Will the ‘total’ plunge without Bryant on the floor or is the OVER still worth a look? 

Lakers, Gasol outgun Warriors

Los Angeles picked up its sixth win in seven games with Friday’s 118-116 victory over the Golden State Warriors, while falling shy of cashing as seven-point home ‘chalk.’ The Lakers shot 51.5 percent from the floor, while holding Golden State scoreless in the battle’s final 1:22 of action.

Lakers forward Pau Gasol notched a triple-double, including 26 points and 10 assists. Los Angeles’ Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace united for 13 boards, with Howard adding one of his side’s two blocks.

The contest’s combined 234 points soared above the ‘total’ of 208 ½, with the Lakers outrebounded by a 44-36 margin. Kobe Bryant logged a team-high 34 points, while mate Steve Blake drained 4-of-8 buckets from three-point land. 

Spurs, Parker hold off Kings 

San Antonio never trailed in Friday’s 108-101 win against the Sacramento Kings, leading by as many as 15 points. The Spurs connected from the field at a 54.5 percent clip, while failing to collect as an 11 ½-point home NBA odds favorite.

Spurs guard Tony Parker piled in 22 points and 10 assists, returning after missing two games with a recent neck injury. San Antonio’s Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter finished with a combined 30 points, while uniting for eight blocks. 

The duel’s 209 points jumped beyond the ‘total’ of 207 ½, with the Spurs hitting 18-of-21 free throws. Splitter added a team-high 12 boards, notching his second double-double in six games.

Back the UNDER at Staples Center 

Bryant (27.3 PPG) is out indefinitely for Los Angeles, while guard Steve Nash (12.7 PPG) is “doubtful” to return from this month’s hamstring injury. The Lakers will have two days of rest following this contest, while San Antonio heads north on no rest to meet Golden State as part of Monday’s league slate. 

I am backing the UNDER here for my NBA picks, looking for these squads to go through the motions with some low octane. 

Los Angeles should see its injuries take their toll on the team’s depth in the this spot, while the UNDER is 10-1 in the Lakers’ last 11 home dates against foes with winning road records. The Lakers have allowed a stingy 33.3 percent of baskets outside the arc to connect in their home jerseys this year, while holding visitors to 94.7 PPG in home matchups over the past month. 

San Antonio looks to wrap up its season in good health, with three games in four nights to get through in this final stretch. Coach Gregg Popovich should look to manage his squad’s minutes here, with scoring likely to tank from Friday’s win that saw seven players reach double figures. 

[gameodds]5/224754/43-19-999996-93/us[/gameodds]

The UNDER cashed at 2-0 in the prior pair of meetings between these rivals this year, while going 7-0 in San Antonio’s last seven games away from home. Look for the UNDER to collect again here, adding another cashed ticket to the wager’s 9-3 mark in the Spurs’ last 12 battles against Western Conference foes. 

Free pick: UNDER the Total at 5Dimes