Los Angeles Lakers (3-2) +8, o/u 198 at San Antonio Spurs (6-1), 8:30 pm Eastern Tuesday
by Zman of Predictem.com
The defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs look to continue their solid start to this season when they host Kobe Bryant and his Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night.
San Antonio has won six of its first seven games this season and three in a row after trouncing the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday 113-86, shooting 56% from the field in the process. So after the first couple of weeks of NBA action, the Spurs are tied for first place in the Southwest Division with the Houston Rockets.
Los Angeles, on the other hand, has won three of its last four games after beating Minnesota last Friday 107-93. So the Lakers sit in third place in the Pacific Division, just one game back of the division-leading Phoenix Suns.
San Antonio has won nine of the last 12 meetings with L.A., but the Lakers took two of three games from the Spurs last season, including a 100-96 decision in Texas in January.
Los Angeles has played just one road game so far this season, winning at Phoenix 11 days ago as eight-point road dogs. The Lakers are already a profitable 4-1 against the spread this season.
San Antonio is just 3-4 ATS this season, 4-0 straight up but only 2-2 vs. the numbers at home.
Statistically speaking, Los Angeles ranks second in the league in scoring at 108 ppg, 23rd in scoring defense at 103 ppg, third in FG shooting at 50%, 15th in FG defense at 44.5%, 20th in 3-point shooting at 33%, 23rd in free-throw shooting at 72%, and third in team rebounding with a +5.0 boards-per-game margin. Also, while the Lakers own a 25/17 per-game assist-to-turnover ratio, they allow a 23/15 A/TO ratio.
On the other side of this match-up, the Spurs rank 16th in scoring at 98 ppg but lead the league in scoring defense at 88 ppg. San Antonio also ranks fifth in FG shooting at 48%, 10th in FG defense at 43.5%, 14th in 3-point marksmanship at 36%, 15th in FT shooting at 74%, and own a + .8 rebounds per game margin. Also, the Spurs own a 21/12 A/TO ratio (their 12 turnovers per game is the best in the league), and they allow opponents a 19/14 A/TO ratio.
The o/u is 3-2 in Lakers games so far this season, which are averaging 211 points per, while the totals are 3-4 in San Antonio games, which are averaging 186 points.
On the injury front, Lakers C Kwame Brown has missed the last two games with a bad heel, and he’s listed as questionable for Tuesday night. Also, F Robert Horry (who hasn’t played yet this season) and G Brent Barry, two key members of the Spurs bench crew, are both listed as questionable.
The Spurs opened as 8 1/2-point home chalk for Tuesday night’s game, with a total of 198 . And while the line has remained steady, the total has dropped a full point at many sportsbooks. Also, San Antonio is listed at right around -450 on the moneyline, with Los Angeles getting +325 as road dogs.
Zman’s Pick: I like the Spurs to beat up the Lakers by double digits here.