Spurs vs. Rockets NBA Picks: Bet San Antonio At Bargain Price of -5.5

Jason Lake

Saturday, February 27, 2016 1:32 PM GMT

There isn't much debate who the best team in Texas is. The San Antonio Spurs should have betting value against the NBA odds Saturday when they visit the Houston Rockets.

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Feb. 25: 23-29-1 ATS, 5-1-1 Total

Who's the best team in the NBA? Why, the San Antonio Spurs, of course. We've been thumping this tub for a while, but the Spurs (49-9 SU, 36-22 ATS) have outperformed the 52-5 Golden State Warriors this year. Basketball-Reference agrees; they have San Antonio at +11.23 on their Simple Rating System, ahead of Golden State at +10.68. There you go.

Much further down the list: the Houston Rockets (29-29 SU, 26-23 ATS). They check in at –1.04 SRS, which means San Antonio should be a bargain as a 5-point road chalk on Saturday's NBA odds board. Of course, with the Spurs, you never know when they might give one or more of their players a maintenance day. But the Rockets might be short-handed themselves when they tip off at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

 

Bye, Ty
We're at the point in the season when veterans who aren't living up to their contracts get bought out, and Houston is reportedly in negotiations to buy out Ty Lawson (9.2 PER, –5.3 BPM). Things just haven't worked out for Lawson with his new employers, and after showing signs of getting back on track in December, Lawson's level of play has dropped back down below the earth's crust of late.

Addition by subtraction? Perhaps, but Houston's already-thin roster is getting thinner by the minute. Clint Capela (17.0 PER, 0.0 BPM) tweaked his right ankle during Wednesday's workout and had to sit out Thursday's 119-105 win over the Portland Trail Blazers (+4 away). And Marcus Thornton (14.8 PER, –2.5 BPM) still hasn't rejoined the team after Houston's deadline deal with the Detroit Pistons was voided. Neither has Donatas Motiejunas (9.1 PER, –6.0 BPM), although his bad back would likely prevent him from playing anyway. Otherwise, he'd be in Detroit now.

 

What About Boban?
Even if the Rox were at full strength, we'd almost certainly put the San Antonio in our NBA picks. This isn't just the best team in the NBA; the Spurs are also the most profitable team, and they keep cashing in despite being so damn good. That's what happens when you play effective, fundamental, boring basketball. San Antonio is fifth on the public money charts at press time, well behind No. 1 Golden State.

Besides, the Spurs have a stealth MVP stashed on their bench. I can't say enough good things about center Boban Marjanovic (30.5 PER, +4.5 BPM) and what he's been able to do with his limited minutes. Marjanovic plays mop-up for the most part, but he's playing like an MVP compared to his opponents: 23.4 points, 14.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per 36 minutes of work. No need to be afraid of eating chalk when Boban is preventing matador covers.

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NBA Pick: San Antonio –5.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker