NBA Betting Picks: San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers

NBA Betting Picks:  San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers

The NBA season is winding down and the Los Angeles Lakers are trying to hold on to the 8th and final seed in the Western Conference. The dynamic of this challenge completely changed on Friday night when Kobe Bryant ruptured his Achilles tendon. Kobe is out for the year and faces 6 to 9 months of rehab. The Lakers face the daunting task of trying to regroup without their emotional leader. It also completely changes the dynamic of what would have been a very compelling matchup between the San Antonio Spurs and the Lakers and the line reflects this, with the Spurs a -5 point road favorite.

San Antonio is dominated this series over the past few years–in the last three seasons the Spurs are 6-3 SU/ATS against Los Angeles including 3-1 SU/4-0 ATS at the Staples Center. This matchup is also bad for the Lakers since they don’t catch the Spurs ‘playing out the string’ until the playoffs begin. San Antonio is 1/2 game behind Oklahoma City for the best overall record in the Western Conference giving them something to play for here. To be fair, the Spurs aren’t going to wear out their starters to get the #1 seed but now that they realize that the Lakers are vulnerable they may go for the jugular here.

The Spurs have been a horrible pointspread proposition of late, dropping 13 of their last 17 against the spread. With Kobe on the shelf, however, that puts the Lakers in one of their worst pointspread categories. Los Angeles has gone 4-18 SU/6-16 ATS as an underdog this season. Of course mere statistics can’t accurately convey the situation the Lakers are in–they’ll put on a ‘brave face’ but it’s almost impossible to see a way that this team can regroup without their MVP in the picture. Furthermore it’s all but a certainty that coach Mike D’Antoni won’t be back. The Kobe loss was catastrophic for this team and look for the Spurs to take advantage. The Kobe absence is obviously ‘baked into the line’ but given the situational components with the Spurs needing to win this should be a blowout and open the door for the Utah Jazz to take the #8 spot in the West.