LA Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs Preview and Pick – Point Spread

L.A. Lakers (29-8 16-21 ATS) vs. San Antonio Spurs (22-13 18-16-1 ATS) AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX 8:30 PM EST Tuesday January 12, 2010
by Jason Green at

Point Spread: Lakers +3/Spurs -3
Over/Under: 192

Tonight in the Lone Star State the San Antonio Spurs host the defending champion L.A. Lakers. The Lakers are playing decent lately, but not on the road as tonight they look to avoid their first 4-game road losing streak in nearly 3 years.

This season the Spurs are 16-6 at home and the Lakers are 8-5 on the road.

The Lakers are coming off a win, are 6-4 in their last 10 games and lead the Pacific Division by 5.5 games over the Phoenix Suns and the Spurs are also coming off a win, are 7-3 in their last 10 games, and are in second place in the Southwest Division only two games back of the Dallas Mavericks.

The Lakers will likely be without Pau Gasol tonight, as the 7-foot Spaniard has a hurt hamstring and is officially listed as doubtful for tonight’s tilt. If he can’t play tonight some of the other Lakers will have to help Kobe Bryant out in the scoring department. Kobe may really need help, as he has struggled lately only scoring 12 points on 4/21 shooting in the last game and in his last 4 games has only shot 33.3% from the field.

Lakers’ C Andrew Bynum has stepped up his play without Gasol in the lineup, as he has averaged has averaged 17.3 ppg 13 rpg in the last 5 games. He will have to play good defense tonight against Tim Duncan, who leads San Antonio in both scoring (20 ppg) and rebounding (10.4 rpg).

In their last game the Spurs beat a weak New Jersey Nets team 97-85 on Sunday. The high scorer for the Spurs in that game was 6th man Manu Ginobili going for 21 points on 6/11 shooting. For the game the Spurs shot 36/79 from the floor for a FG% of 45.6%. On D the Spurs clamped down only allowing the Nets to shoot 32/81 for a FG% of 39.5%.

The Lakers won their last game schooling the Milwaukee Bucks 95-77 on Sunday. The high scorer for the Lakers in the game was reserve Shannon Brown going for 19 points on 8/12 shooting. For the game the Lakers did not shoot well going 32/80 for a FG% of 40%. However, on defense they played great, as the Bucks shot 31/91 for a weak FG% of 34.1%.

This season the Lakers rank 5th in scoring (103.6 ppg) and the Spurs rank 9th (101.9 ppg). On defense the Spurs are legit ranking 5th in points allowed (95.6 ppg) while the Lakers rank 9th (96.6 ppg). Both teams have been solid on the glass this season, as the Spurs have a rebounding differential of +4.0 rpg and the Lakers are at +2.3 rpg.

According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Lakers rank 3rd (96.02) and the Spurs rank 8th (93.22).

L.A. is 4-9 ATS in their last 13 road games, 3-8 ATS in their last 11 against teams in the Western Conference, and 2-6 ATS in their last 8 road games against teams with a winning home record.

San Antonio is 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 against teams in the Pacific Division, 3-11 ATS in their last 14 home games against teams with a winning road record, and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games against teams with a winning S.U. record.

Even though Kobe Bryant has struggled recently look for him to break out of his scoring slump tonight, as in his last seven games in San Antonio he has averaged 27.3 ppg on 51% shooting.

Look for Andre Bynum (15.3 ppg 8.4 rpg) to have a big game on the boards, as he will be matched up with Duncan and DeJuan Blair, who gives up 5 inches to the Lakers’ C.

Without Gasol in the lineup Tim Duncan will have a good game tonight, but Bynum will muscle him around on the boards.

On the injury front SF Luke Walton is Out and PF Pau Gasol and SG Kobe Bryant are day-to-day for the Lakers and SG Michael Finley and PF Matt Bonner are Out for the Spurs.

Jason’s Pick: The Spurs have lost 4 of their last 5 games against division leaders and in 4 of their last 5 wins they have faced teams that are under .500. They will not have the respect of the general betting public tonight as we’re already seeing one sided action in favor of the Lakers. Many will walk away empty handed tonight as the Spurs win and cover.