No Leonard, No Problem: Spurs Smart Choice as Chalk at Lakers

spurs lakers

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, January 11, 2018 1:45 PM GMT

Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 1:45 PM GMT

The San Antonio Spurs will invade the Staples Center without superstar Kawhi Leonard in tow for Thursday night's date with the Lakers. Let's review the NBA odds and get on the right side of this Western Conference matchup.

Spurs (28-14 SU, 22-17-3 ATS) at Lakers (13-27 SU, 19-21 ATS)Free NBA Pick: SpursBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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  • Los Angeles is 0-4 ATS in their last four games as a home underdog.
  • Los Angeles is 2-6 ATS in their last eight home games.
  • Los Angeles is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
  • San Antonio is 4-0 ATS in their last four games vs. a team with a winning percentage below .400.
  • San Antonio is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
  • San Antonio is 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine games overall.

The Spurs are taking a conservative approach to Kawhi Leonard's playing time as he continues to recover from first a quad injury and now a partial shoulder tear. The 26-year-old phenom has played in eight games this season, averaging 15.9 points per, but will be sidelined for Thursday night's matchup at the Lakers.

There may be no Leonard for San Antonio, but the Spurs have plenty of talent on this roster to fill the void and handle a cellar dweller like the Lakers. But let's not forget that as of this Thursday morning writing the NBA odds board is barren regarding this contest due to the injuries to Tony Parker and Rudy Gay. Both veterans are not expected in uniform so the line, when it is released, will ultimately reflect their absences by making the Spurs less of a favorite.

Regardless, San Antonio has gotten huge performances recently out of big man LaMarcus Aldridge. Due to Leonard's absence as well as injuries to other veterans, Aldridge has become the primary focus of San Antonio's offense. Averaging 25.3 points over his last eight and owner of four double-doubles in his last five games, Aldridge has been a beast for the Spurs. He has also been a menace on the boards, averaging 11.4 rebounds over his last five and helping his team to a 4-1 ATS record during that time.

After dropping nine straight, the Lakers have won their last two and covered the number as well. But good things don't last very long with bad teams, and that rule applies to LA as much as any club in the league. Los Angeles held the Sacramento Kings in check on Tuesday night with a solid defensive performance, which led to the Lakers' 99-86 win over the only Western Conference team with as poor a record as them.

San Antonio has had three days to prepare for this contest and that rest will help its starters mend what ails them and give the entire team fresh legs entering this date with LA. The Spurs have won and covered three of their last four meetings with the Lakers, and this one should be no different. Include the visitors in your NBA picks and watch San Antonio win by double digits.

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