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Lakers vs Spurs Picks – Lakers Closer To Securing Conference

Posted by Craig Parsons on 3/23/2010 2:38:16 PM
NBA Odds: Lakers

The defending NBA champion Lakers are once more on top of the Western conference and closing in on securing the all-important home court advantage on the way to the finals. Los Angeles has won six straight, and have won 32 of 35 at home this season, including its only home date against San Antonio 101-89 back in early January. Despite that they have not performed well at the Staples Center in recent times, as illustrated by four straight losses there, the Spurs have played .500 basketball in Los Angeles in their last ten games, and could take advantage of a batter Lakers team that has gone just 5-5 in their last ten home games overall.

Lakers vs Spurs betting odds: Lakers
  • What: NBA Betting
  • When: Wednesday, March 24th – 9:30 PM ET
  • Where: Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA
  • Key Stat: Spurs have won 10 of last 13

Lakers-Spurs Storyline

This will be the third of four meetings between these teams, with the home team taking the online betting decision on both occasions this year. Despite minor injuries to Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, and Andrew Bynum, the Lakers have won six consecutive games since falling 96-94 to the Magic in a 2009 NBA Finals rematch at Orlando earlier this month.

The Spurs bounced back from an overtime loss at Atlanta to earn its third straight win over Oklahoma City, pulling them in to a tie with the Thunder for sixth place in the Western conference. San Antonio has been average on the road this year, and has not won a season series between these teams since 2005-06. However, head coach Greg Popovich’s team has done an excellent job without point guard Tony Parker, who is out with a fractured hand. Popovich and Lakers’ head coach Phil Jackson are the only active coaches in the association with multiple NBA championships titles, and are among the most cerebral the game has ever known.

Offensive Matchups

The Lakers are the sixth highest sports betting scoring home team in the association with an average of just less than 103 points per game this season. Perennial MVP candidate Kobe Bryant has led Los Angeles to the highest scoring differential in the conference, not that it needed Bryant or starting center Andrew Bynum who were both injured the last time these teams met. Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest, Derek Fisher, and Jordan Farmar all scored in double-digit point totals, led by Gasol’s monster near triple-double including 21 points, 19 rebounds, and eight assists. The Lakers shot over 43-percent from the field, and an even more impressive 42-percent from beyond the arc. With Bryant and Bynum both back, Los Angeles is even more powerful offensively. The four-time champion shooting guard is just one point back of Alex English for the 12th spot on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, and is coming off helping his team to their seventh wire-to-wire victory of the season in a 99-92 victory over Washington.

The Spurs are also one of the 16 NBA teams that average over 100 points per game, and have hit the century mark 36 times this season. San Antonio is 29-7 when they reach triple-digits, compared to 7-15 when allowing opponents to reach 100 points. Despite playing without point guard Tony Parker, the Spurs have registered some of their highest point totals of the season, including a season-high 147-point effort in a win over Golden State last week, and a 114-point effort two games back in a loss to the Hawks in Atlanta. With a three-game parlay coming up against some of the league’s best, starting against Los Angeles and continuing with the Cavaliers before a date in Boston, leading scorer Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Richard Jefferson will need to continue to put up the type of production they have this past week to maintain position in the west. George Hill has done an excellent job replacing Parker in the starting line up, averaging 12 points per game.

Betting Edge: Lakers

Defensive Matchups

The Lakers have allowed opponents to score 100 points or more on 25 occasions, compared to the Spurs’ mark of 22 occasions, which illustrates how strong each of these team’s are on the defensive side of the ball.

Los Angeles’ Ron Artest is widely regarded as one of the game’s best defensive players, and his addition to a team that already boasts Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum has launched the Lakers in to discussion as one of the better sportsbook defensive teams in the association. They are the top-ranked home rebounding team in the league at home, and are eighth in the league in home steals per game with an average mark of 7.82.

San Antonio is one of the top-10 blocking teams in the NBA, and boast forward Tim Duncan and guard George Hill as two of the best defensive players in the league at their positions. The Spurs have allowed 101 points in their lone game on the road against the Lakers, compared to 85 points in its home win back in January.

Betting Edge: Lakers

Injuries

The Lakers are playing with several injured players, although they are not expecting to be missing at game time.

The Spurs are without guard Tony Parker, who is out with a fractured fourth right metacarpal.

Betting Edge: Lakers

Betting Predictions: Lakers vs Spurs

The Lakers have been on absolute fire on the stretch run of the National Basketball League’s regular season schedule, winning six straight NBA betting contests to move five games ahead of the Nuggets for top spot in the Western conference. Los Angeles remains three and a half back of Cleveland for top spot in the association, which makes every game crucial in the quest to clinch home court advantage throughout the playoffs, including a potential Finals meeting with Lebron and the Cavaliers. San Antonio is only two and a half games back of Utah for the fourth spot in the conference, and five and a half games up on ninth place Memphis, meaning it would take a major collapse for the Spurs to miss the playoffs. The better team wins this game, meaning the Lakers extend their win streak to seven games.

Craig’s Pick: Lakers


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