It’s still early in the NBA season, but with 10 fewer games in 2020-21, every contest has increased in importance. The Western Conference is likely to be highly contested, with four teams currently tied at the top with 3-1 records.
Neither the Los Angeles Lakers nor the San Antonio Spurs find themselves among that group. The Lakers stand at 2-2 while the Spurs, after winning their first two games, are at 2-1. Both teams are coming off losses to Western Conference opponents.
Los Angeles Lakers Betting Preview: Getting Davis Involved
In their last game, the Lakers struggled against the Portland Trail Blazers in a 115-107 loss. Forward Anthony Davis was held to 13 points despite leading the team in playing time. LeBron James scored 29 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Davis’ off night.
The defending champions are 2-2 with a pair of blowout wins over Dallas and Minnesota in which they averaged 132.5 points an outing. In losses to the Clippers and Portland, they were held to an average of 108 points a game.
The Lakers are still adjusting to new faces Dennis Schroder and Marc Gasol in the lineup. Both losses were similar in that the Lakers weren’t able to contain the opposing teams’ top players.
Blazers guard Damian Lillard lit them up for 31 points, while guard Paul George and forward Kawhi Leonard combined for 59 in the loss to the Clippers.
San Antonio Spurs Betting Preview: Rebuilding in Progress
In the first two games, wins over Memphis and Toronto, guard DeMar DeRozan went for 28 and 27 points, respectively. He was held to eight points in a 98-95 loss to the Pelicans.
The Spurs have a balanced offensive attack with seven players scoring in double figures, but they need DeRozan to step up every night and lead the way.
The Spurs are still battling some injuries, with only 10 players available and eight getting significant minutes. Head coach Gregg Popovich is trying to rebuild around DeRozan, and judging from early results, he might be a bit ahead of schedule.
The balance in the Spurs lineup makes them difficult to shut down offensively, with so many scoring options available. Unlike the Clippers, Lakers, Nets and other teams, the Spurs lack a reliable second scorer to pick up the load when opponents take DeRozan out of his rhythm.
Betting Odds and Lines
Leading sportsbook MyBookie.ag has the Lakers as 3.5-point favorites. The over/under for the game is 228.5 points.
On the moneyline, the Lakers have odds of -170, while the Spurs are listed at +145. In addition to the standard wagers, the site also offers a number of proposition bets.
Free Betting Pick
The Lakers have had difficulty stopping good offensive players in their losses but have been able to pour it on in their wins. While the Spurs are competitive, this isn’t a good matchup for them with the size that the Lakers can put on the court.
Look for Davis to bounce back with a big game and pace the Lakers to a big scoring night. If they can contain DeRozan, they might be able to get another blowout victory.
Spooky Express Free Pick: Lakers -3.5