NBA Playoff Picks: Los Angeles Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs

Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs
Sunday, 4/21/13, 3:30 PM EST, TV:  ABC
Opening Point Spread:  San Antonio -8
Current Betting Line:  San Antonio -8.5
Opening Total:  193
Current Total:  190.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The San Antonio Spurs are 8-4-1 as home favorites of 6.5 to 9 points this season
The San Antonio Spurs are 8-4-1 as home favorites of 6.5 to 9 points this season

Los Angeles won its last five games of the 2012-13 regular season, including a 99-95 overtime victory over the Houston Rockets as 2.5-point home favorites last Wednesday, while going UNDER the posted total of 203.  The Lakers will be playing the 2013 NBA playoffs without the services of star guard Kobe Bryant, who suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon.  The team dropped two of three meetings against San Antonio this season, while it has gone 4-6 in its last 10 trips to the Lone Star State in this series.  Los Angeles is 8-16 ATS as underdogs, which is important to consider when looking over the pro basketball odds page Sunday.

The Lakers were 16-25 overall during the regular season when playing away from the Staples Center, including a 9-17 mark versus Western Conference foes.  Los Angeles ranked sixth in the league in averaging 102.2 points per game, but finished last in free-throw shooting.  The franchise is 3-8 when not holding home-court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.

San Antonio lost its final three games, including a 108-95 setback to the Minnesota Timberwolves as nine-point home favorites last Wednesday, while going OVER the total for the third time in four opportunities.  The Spurs are expecting to have sixth man Manu Ginobili back on the floor, who missed the final nine games with a strained right hamstring.  “I’m going to try to contribute any way or form I can,” commented Ginobili.  San Antonio is 8-4-1 ATS as home favorites of 6.5 to 9 points, with the UNDER going 8-5 in that situation.

The Spurs are 35-6 overall at the AT&T Center, including a 23-4 mark versus conference rivals.  San Antonio is led offensively by forward Tim Duncan and point guard Tony Parker, who combined to average 32.0 points in three meetings against Los Angeles during the 2012-13 campaign.  Since this venue opened during the 2002-03 season, the team has compiled a 54-19 postseason record—averaging 99.5 points per game.

Sports bettors will likely play the total in this affair, as the OVER is 16-5 in the Spurs last 21 games following a double-digit loss at home.

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