Spurs-Lakers Betting Preview: Can San Antonio Turn Things Around?

Spurs-Lakers Betting Preview: Can San Antonio Turn Things Around? article feature image

Photo credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: DeMar DeRozan

Betting odds: San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers

  • Spread: Lakers -9
  • Over/Under: 226
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

>> All odds as of 4 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets

The Spurs are coming off a 139-105 blowout loss to the Jazz on Tuesday night and will now stay on the road to visit the 14-9 Lakers. Can the Spurs turn things around, or will LeBron James and Co. roll? Our analysts discuss.

Betting Trends to Know

The Spurs are playing the second game of a back-to-back. From 2010 to 2016, San Antonio was one of the most profitable teams in the league playing on a back-to-back, going 73-50 against the spread. But over the past two seasons, the Spurs are only 7-11 ATS in this spot. John Ewing

Since 2005, the Spurs have struggled ATS on back-to-backs when facing a familiar opponent on extended rest — which the Lakers have heading into this matchup — going 16-27 (37.2%) ATS and failing to cover by an average of 2.7 points.Evan Abrams

The Spurs opened as 7.5-point underdogs and currently sit at +9. This is just the 30th time since 2005 that San Antonio has been an underdog of seven or more points in the regular season. The Spurs have won only four of those 29 previous games, going 12-17 ATS as well.Ewing

Locky: Which Side I’m Betting Tonight

Well, the Spurs have this going for them. Despite playing on Tuesday night, the team is well-rested!

It was not the best performance against the Jazz for San Antonio. It was the first game of a road trip, the team was rested, they got down by 16 at half … and it didn’t get better. As a result, LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan played just 22 and 24 minutes, respectively.

If a similar result happens Wednesday night against the Lakers, I’m not sure fatigue can be a reasonable excuse since you could argue that even when they were on the court, they weren’t putting up much of a fight.

Although it might be hard to stomach betting on a team that just did what the Spurs did last night, keep this in mind: The only teams the Lakers have been favored by 8.5 or more against this season are the Hawks, Cavs and Suns.

I don’t care how well Los Angeles is playing recently; this seems like a bit of an overreaction. I don’t think the Spurs are amazing, but they’re absolutely not Cleveland, Phoenix and Atlanta-level bad.

When you throw in the fact that the Lakers have actually been a team the Spurs have had successes against this season — the Spurs are 2-0 in their season series — San Antonio gets a little bit more appealing.

LeBron was excellent in both games statistically, but from a team standpoint, there wasn’t a consistent trend in terms of what they did wrong. In one game, the Lakers defense was porous, and the offense struggled in the next.

It could be this is just a bad matchup for the Lakers. DeRozan has gone for 30 or more in each meeting, so having sat a while last night, hopefully he can muster that same effort.

I think San Antonio at +9 has value here. Ken Barkley

Mears: Keep Selling the Spurs Defense

The Spurs are a middling 11-13, and somehow they’ve actually been lucky to have that many wins. Based on their point differential (-4.5, which is 24th in the NBA), they should have 8.7 wins.

This is not a good team. And it’s almost entirely because of their defense, which now ranks dead last in the NBA.

They’ve allowed a miserable 114.6 points per 100 possessions. They’re 29th in effective field goal percentage allowed. They’ve forced opponents turnovers at the third-lowest rate. Everything is bad.

Diving deeper, the shots they’re allowing aren’t that bad. They’re 12th in 3-point rate allowed and have allowed the seventh-fewest corner 3s. Opponents have taken long 2s at the sixth-highest rate, which is generally a good sign for a defense.

All in all, the scheme seems to be fine.

But man, these shooting percentages are terrible. Here’s how opponents are shooting from a variety of spots on the floor:

  • Rim: 65.0% (22nd in the league)
  • Short mid-range: 44.1% (29th)
  • Long mid-range: 43.4% (24th)
  • Corner 3: 40.3% (23rd)
  • All 3: 37.9% (26th)

The Spurs are bottom 10 in every area, so it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what’s going on. All of their players are poor defensively right now, and none had sterling defensive reputations coming into the season anyway.

I don’t think they’ll be the worst defense in the league by the end of the season, but I also wouldn’t be on them getting significantly better — like I would with the Jazz, for example.

I don’t think the value at Lakers -9 is worth betting, but I don’t mind a shot at the over given the defensive trends. Bryan Mears

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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