Spurs at Lakers Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 4/26/2013
My very favorite option in NBA betting is a home underdog. Seeing one makes me salivate like Pavlov’s dogs. Not all home underdogs are worthy of attention, though — some just don’t deserve any respect. We have the reasonably rare situation of the Lakers as a home underdog here. The question, then, is whether they are worth a closer look.
The mere fact that a team as overwhelmingly public as the Lakers is not only a home dog but also a very unpopular one shows you just how far they have sunk this year. But is it far enough to provide some value?
Spurs at Lakers Betting Storylines
The Lakers are, unquestionably, a mess. Or at least they have played like one in their first two games. It is virtually impossible to believe that a talented team could get this deep into the playoffs without having a clear sense of what they want to do, yet the Lakers seem to have done just that.
In the first game they played very good defense — the Spurs were limited to less than 38 percent shooting from the field. Despite having two world-class big men, though, they seemed to be allergic to post play and were mostly incompetent when they did venture inside. That meant that they were completely incapable of scoring, and they lost. In the second game they must have decided that defensive play wasn’t working for them, because they let the Spurs do pretty much whatever they wanted. San Antonio wound up at 51.2 percent shooting overall and 50 percent from beyond the arc. The big guys weren’t much more effective, either.
They are playing together pretty well — at least compared to what we have seen from them — but Mike D’Antoni refuses to adjust to the assets he has. It’s a ridiculous waste. Who knows what they’ll do next. It’s probably a good bet that it won’t be as effective as it should be, though.
Injuries are, of course, the story for the Lakers. Some guy named Bryant is apparently significant to the team, so his absence matters. He’s the biggest issue but far from the only one. The biggest issue is the backcourt. Steve Blake was reasonably effective in Game 2, but he went down late with a hamstring injury and is out indefinitely. That puts more of a burden on Steve Nash, but he just isn’t up to it. He was limping badly last game and could barely get up and down the court by the end. He’s had four epidurals in just over a week, and is on borrowed time. There is a good chance he won’t be available for this one, so that needs to be monitored by bettors. Whether he is available or not, these injuries mean that Darius Morris will be playing significant time. The former Michigan star is hardly the ideal choice. Shooting guard Jodie Meeks hurt his ankle in Game 1 as well. He was out last game and will likely be out again here. All the backcourt woes put even more pressure on the big men up front, and it makes their frustrating misuse even more of an issue.
As if there weren’t already enough reasons to doubt this Lakers squad — you have to consider the way they are closing quarters as well. At the end of a period is when good teams pick things up. They know they can gain valuable momentum by making a statement in the closing seconds. The Lakers have been badly outplayed at the end of quarters in both games so far. That’s just another indication of the mental state of this team and how hard they are to like right now. Pride is a foreign concept for this team.
Spurs at Lakers NBA Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with the Spurs favored by three points, but 5Dimes now has them at 4.5 points — and there is certainly room for that to grow further given the overwhelming action on the Spurs. The total sits at 188.
The Spurs are 0-4 ATS in their last four road games. The Lakers have gone “under “the total in 11 of their last 12 games against teams with a winning road record. Nine of the last 11 meetings between these teams in L.A. have gone under the total. The Spurs are 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings with the Lakers.
Spurs at Lakers Picks and Betting Predictions
I love home underdogs but not ones as ugly as this. The misuse of players, the huge injury issues, the incompetent coaching, and the attitude problems would make them unattractive against most teams. Against a team as good and as professional as these Spurs are, though, they seem to be almost hopeless. The Spurs are the comfortable pick.
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